Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Photo by Jess Dennis
May 1933: Hitler Abolishes Unions
"On May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor day, Nazi groups occupied union halls and labor leaders were arrested. Trade Unions were outlawed by Adolf Hitler, while collective bargaining and the right to strike was abolished. This was the beginning of a consolidation of power by the fascist regime which systematically wiped out all opposition groups, starting with unions, liberals, socialists, and communists using Himmler’s state police.
Fast forward to America today, particularly Wisconsin. Governor Walker and the Republican/Tea Party members of the state legislature are attempting to pass a bill that would not only severely punish public unions (with exception for the police, fire, and state trooper unions that supported his campaign), but it would effectively end 50 years to the right of these workers to collectively bargain.
Decimating unions has long been an objective of the rich and powerful. Growing out of trade guilds in Medieval Europe, they were banned starting with the Ordinance of Labourers 1349 and Statute of Labourers in England. It was not until the Industrial Revolution that labor began to organize again.
Every little gain for the rights of workers was hard fought and bitterly resisted by the rich and powerful. The photo above (see it here) shows the Lawrence Textile Strike (also known as the Bread and Roses strike) where mostly immigrant workers rebelled against increasingly harsh work conditions and lowered pay caused by mechanization. Specifically, state law mandated a reduction in working hours for women and children from 56 to 54 hours, and factory owners responded by cutting salaries, something the poor workers could not afford.
Over time, organized labor managed to abolish child labor all together, as well as institute an 8 hour work day, 40 hour work week, mandatory breaks, safety guidelines, grievance procedures, a minimum wage, the concept of a work free weekend, workers comp, pensions, health safeguards, and paid sick days, vacation days, and holidays. If you enjoy any of these things, thank a union member and support the passage of a strong Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)."
Read the rest here. Includes great pictures, charts and graphs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back describing each one. (thanks Arlo) An excellent read.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
William Rivers Pitt has written a great article on the details of the Madison uprising.
Volunteers of America
"Here's the deal, in case you've missed the news: Wisconsin's newly-minted Republican governor, Scott Walker, has wreathed himself in folly during the slender six weeks he has disgraced the office.
First, he imposed a series of ridiculous proposals on the state, which do nothing whatsoever to help the economy but cost upwards of $140 million.
Second, he ignored the judgment of the state's fiscal bureau - whose responsibilities are akin to the Congressional Budget Office - which said the state's financial situation was not nearly dire enough to require "austerity measures," and would in all likelihood finish the year with a surplus...said surplus prediction, it should be noted, got screwed out of existence by Walker's absurd and expensive policy initiatives.
Third, and in fulfillment of what appears to be a life-long loathing of anything relating to union or public-sector workers, Walker demanded that any and all collective bargaining rights be abolished, and that all state employees and union members eat what amounts to a massive and unprecedented pay and benefits cut across the board...cuts which, by the by, will do almost nothing to stimulate Wisconsin's economy, but will fulfill Mr. Walker's ambition to destroy union labor in the state."
Time to start a revolution
Sunday, February 6, 2011
10 Things Conservatives Don’t Want You To Know About Ronald Reagan
Reagan's Epoch Shatters in Egypt
The Luckiest Pitchman Ever
The Feast of Saint Ronnie
Reagan Was the Corporate Puppet Who is Still Paying Dividends: GE Knows
Thursday, February 3, 2011
This works for me:
Ten Reasons Fox News Doesn't Really Care About The Egypt Story
by Eric Boehlert via Smirking Chimp
It’s true. Egypt is killing Fox News’ mojo.
Why? The short answer is Fox
isn’t actually a news-gathering organization in the traditional sense in that it
reacts and responds to breaking news around the world. Nor is it one strives to
inform its viewers. It’s just not. Instead, Fox News is a political
Read the rest here - well worth the 2 minutes.