Monday, September 03, 2012

Labor Day 2012

I go back to teaching tomorrow, but I am bound and determined not to martyr myself to my job anymore. Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," Labor Day 2012!

The Labor Movement was begun to combat extremely long working hours, bad working conditions, and child labor. Out of the moral struggles of working people came the 40 hour work week, regulations for safety and health, and revised ages for child labor. Anyone who put in a 40 hour week had to be given health care benefits and a pension plan (most everyone, that is). Workers could bargain, i.e. negotiate in their best interests.

Corporate interests have found sneaky ways around all of these provisions in almost every profession except public sector employment. Take it from me, the public sector is also under siege.

Let's look at what corporate America has done to undermine workers' rights:

1. Instead of working people too long, they work them not long enough. If you hire someone at 28 hours a week, you don't have to pay them benefits.

2. Instead of putting people on the payroll, they hire "contract workers" who have no benefits beyond what they, as contractors, can afford to buy.

3. Cheap child labor produces goods abroad, where countries set their own labor laws.

4. Blue collar work has been sent to foreign countries where laborers are subjected to long hours and dangerous working conditions.

5. Coal mining now employs fewer people who use machinery to knock down the mountains, resulting in widespread environmental destruction.

6. Renewable energy sources will not flourish until the finite fossil fuels are exhausted, leaving environmental destruction behind.

Basically, business tycoons have figured out how to bust unions. First they moved factories from one part of the country to another, then they just sent the factories abroad.

Would you be willing to pay more for goods if everything was produced in America, by workers who were covered for health and pension benefits? I will answer that question for you. Of course you would, because you would be one of those workers who had health and pension benefits.

But then some people wouldn't get richer than God at your expense.

I petition the bored gods to afflict the comfortable and to restore American workers' rights. Now, there's a job for some really mighty deities!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Doesn't it seem sometimes that every step forward results in two steps back? Globalism doesn't seem to be good for anyone but the 1%.

Raven~ said...

From your lips (and fingers) to every Bored God's Ears!

Anonymous said...

The large corporations have no consciences: if they are people, they are sociopaths. they want us all to end up as slaves.
In order to change things for the better, we have to do an end-run around the big corps. Here's our plan:
The way we will take back America from the corporations is:
1) Take our money out of the big banks and Wall St, and don't patronize those corporations any more than you must. (Put your money in member-owned credit unions. Or read "Locavesting".)
2) We will start a lot of worker-owned, democratically-run businesses, where the people who do the actual work get the say and share the profit.
a) Form locally sustainable economies
3) We must elect progressive candidates to protect us from the destruction planned by the conservatives.
4) We will start our own currency, and gradually replace the old Dollar with the New Community Dollar, which We the People will control with our own banks or credit unions and regulating agencies.
5) Assume the frame of moral/ethical leadership. (Read George Lakoff.)