Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Thoughts

U.S. AFL-CIO chief, Richard Trumka came to Alaska late last month for their convention here. He attended a lot of roll-up-your-sleeves meetings with members and Northwestern states heads, and our Alaska AFL-CIO president, Vince Beltrami (shown at left here, with Trumka on the right). Then he marched in solidarity with hundreds of union workers, from the Captain Cook Hotel, down 6th Avenue, to the Sheraton, which - along with the Hilton - is in violation of agreements with some of its workers.

Later that day, he gave the keynote address at the convention. In it he lambasted Sarah Palin, and the divisiveness she has created and continues to create across America:

"America works because lots of people contribute lots of ideas -- that's good -- even when some of them are just plain wrong. But people need to come to the table in good faith. That's not Sarah Palin. She'll go down in history like [Joe] McCarthy. Palinism will become an ugly word.

"[Someday, people will ask,] 'Who is this woman, anyway? What happened to her?'"

That day hasn't come yet, but it will. Meanwhile, Palin may be planning a procession from the Wasilla sports complex to the Denai'na Center in Anchorage on September 11th, as she motorcades with Teabagger pathological liar, Joe Miller from a Wasilla event to the Glenn Beck Show at the Denai'na. (More on that tomorrow, I hope.)

Here's what Rich Trumka had to say about the struggle for workers' rights in America right now, in front of the Sheraton two weeks ago (hat tip to Elwood at I Eat Gravel):

This struggle is unending, and if it weren't for the courage of union members across the land - and seas - workers would still be unrepresented in the work place, even more than they now are.

Here's one of the toughest fighters for union rights in U.S. history, George Meany, one of Rich Trumka's predecessors as AFL-CIO head, giving his 1967 labor day address:

Sometimes I wish my union was more effective. But I'm glad I have them, instead of nothing.


Anonymous said...

Phil, thank you so very much for providing George Meany's brilliantly worded and heartfelt speech of 1967. The thing is that Richard Trumka could give that speech, word for word, today by crediting Mr. Meany for it and stating that it is even more applicable today. As a matter of fact, I wish Mr. Trumka would give that speech now because every word of it applies so aptly today.

We, each and every adult citizen of this country, NEED TO HEAR AND UNDERSTAND Mr. Meany's speech each day until we FORCE our congress respond to it on our behalf even if it means marching on Capitol Hill until they act. We need more wonderful LEADERS like Mr. Meany because unfortunately leaders like him are few and far between in our world today. A statue of George Meany should be located in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol so that each congressperson who walked past every day would be reminded of Mr. Meany's caring and value for the 'human condition without the gratification of having a job'. They have apparently forgotten that is the purpose of their jobs.

Congresspersons have become corporate shrills and could care less about 'we the people' until election times roll around and they pander to us in order to get our votes. Once they secure their election, they completely forget us again until the next cycle. We need to MAKE THEM REMEMBER US EVERY DAY!

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose anyone was so gauche or honest as to ask about the AFL-CIO's ties to Soviet espionage rings from the 60s onward or whether they now take their secret marching orders from Beijing...

Elwood Foreclift said...

Someone needs to tighten their tin-foil hat.