Reflections on Labor Day from Green Party candidates & activists
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Staff members of the Green Party are proud members of the Industrial Workers of the World.
From our platform
The right to organize unions, bargain freely and strike when necessary is being destroyed by employers and their representatives in government. Today, nearly one out of ten workers involved in union organizing drives is illegally fired by employers who wage a campaign of fear, threats, and slick propaganda to keep workers from exercising a genuinely free choice.
And as union membership falls, so do the wages of all working people, union and non-union alike. We sup- port efforts to overcome these legal handicaps, especially in the South and Southwest where the laws are most hostile. We also must dedicate ourselves to fighting for a complete overhaul of this country’s labor laws.
The Green Party supports the irreducible right of working people, without hindrance, to form a union and to bargain collectively with their employer. This right was guaranteed under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.
Congratulations American workers. You live in the only industrialized nation in the world with no guaranteed paid vacations, no guaranteed paid sick leave and no guaranteed paid parental leave. Our political leaders and commentators keep telling us it’s “the greatest country in the world” — but it just isn’t so, at least not when it comes to labor standards.
San Francisco, CA – The Green Party of California released the following statement today detailing gains it has spearheaded for workers, and highlighting its three U.S. House candidates, Kenneth Mejia, Dr. Rodolfo Cortes Barragan, and Laura Wells, as strong advocates for workers:
Labor Day is a celebration of labor, so this Labor Day, we in the California Green Party, extend our gratitude to all laborers who have built our economy, and we vow to continue the fight for improvements in wages and working conditions for laborers through actions and not mere words.
Hands in Solidarity, Hands of Freedom mural on the side of the United Electrical Workers trade union building on West Monroe Street at Ashland Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Artist Dan Manrique Arias painted this mural in 1997 on the south wall of the United Electrical Workers Union.
As I prepare to engage in the yearly ritual of catching up on house chores and barbecuing with friends and family during this much needed three day weekend in September, I wonder if I’m the only one feeling moved to light a non-denominational votive candle for the continued strength, mobilization and progress of worker solidarity during the rest of 2018 and beyond.
Rulers tend to enslave workers unless workers refuse to be ruled. To live well, therefore, workers defy laws, customs and religions that confine them.
Among the most outstanding rebellions in the United States are the bloody general strike of 1877 which shut down railroads; the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) who gathered laborers into a mighty fist; Harlan County coal miners who shot their way toward freedom; endless wildcat strikes that defied corrupt union bosses; the slow-downs and sit-downs and boycotts where workers took charge.
I’m a Teamster who had his pension cut 20% with the approval of the U.S Treasury Department just before I retired. Existing retirees were cut 30%. These cuts were made by a bipartisan act of Congress in 2014 that removed the guarantee in the 1974 Employment Retirement Income Security Act that earned pensions could not be cut. I planned my retirement on that guarantee. The consolation prize for my pension cut is that I can go back to work for up to 1000 hours a year at UPS unloading trucks while still receiving my diminished pension. But I lose my seniority and start over at the state minimum wage of $10.40 an hour.
I feel that I am blessed to be a union worker in a "right to work" state - Florida. The travesty of this policy is just another insulting trick played upon the citizens of the USA. The proper disclosure of this should be worded "the right to have your fellow workers pay for your benefits from the union job you enjoy".The whole idea of workers uniting should just be understood as a good thing. It helps with safety, job security, fair pay and other benefits that hard work should provide. The usual ploy by anti-union organizations is to cite a corrupt leader or two, even as they ignore all the dedicated and honest leaders nation wide - which is the general rule.
“Without Labor, nothing prospers.” SophoclesIt’s Labor Day every day! Let’s take a moment to celebrate how hard you’ve worked and remember those that have made countless sacrifices to make America’s workforce what it is today, including my grandmother. Growing up, my grandmother who served as president of AFSCME Council 31 and became the first Black Women elected to the executive board of the Chicago Federation Of Labor. She introduced me to my passion to organize and advocate for prosperity for all people. Labor unions have shaped history, created opportunity and worked hard to protect working families against unfair employer policies and practices.