“Right To Work” States

Labor Day: A Reminder That Democrats Are Pro Labor Rights, Republicans Always Opposed!

Today is Labor Day, a day to celebrate organized labor and workers, and their contributions to America past and present!

Celebrating Labor Day began in the 1880s as millions of workers, many immigrant or people of color, were exploited by corporations, who did not care about their health, safety, or having a decent standard of living!

It was not until the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s that workers finally had a federal government that promoted recognition of labor unions by the National Labor Relations Act (1935), also known as the Wagner Act, and establishment of basic labor conditions, such as outlawing child labor, and setting minimum wage and maximum hours, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938).

Sadly, in the Southern states, dominated by Racist Democrats and now by Republicans, so called “Right To Work” laws, which limited labor rights, became and has remained normal, so the battle for labor to organize and bargain remains a struggle in such states, including some in the Midwest and Mountain States, as well.

Labor Unions declined after Ronald Reagan fired Air Traffic Controllers in 1981, but labor is reviving in the present economic climate to some extent.

But the important point to remember is that it is conservatives and Republicans who have never been supporters of organized labor and basic worker rights, but rather the Democratic Party outside of the South!

Labor Day, Honoring Workers, Totally Ignored By Donald Trump

Yesterday was Labor Day, which has been a federal holiday since 1894.

It honors the work, sacrifices, and contributions of American workers.

However, labor unions have been in rapid decline since the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, ironically himself the only President to be a labor union leader, as head of the Screen Actors Guild in the 1940s and early 1950s.

If it was not for workers in all fields of industry and business, plus public government workers, America would not have accomplished its economic greatness over the generations.

And yet, not one word from President Donald Trump, who has spent his life exploiting workers in his real estate businesses, and often not paying contractors or workers the pay they are due, and avoiding it in court cases.

Labor Unions have brought about the following (no special order):

Weekends off for most workers

Paid Vacations

Paid Sick Leave

Family and Medical Leave

Child Labor Laws

Social Security

Minimum Wage

8 Hour Work Day

Overtime Pay

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Health Care, Dental, and Vision Coverage

Collective Bargaining Rights

Work Breaks

Wrongful Termination Laws

Age Discrimination Laws

Raises in Wages

Sexual Harassment Laws

Americans With Disabilities Act

Holiday Pay

Military Leave

Equal Pay Act

Workers Compensation

Civil Rights Laws

Federal Holidays Off

Sadly, less than ten percent of all workers now have the benefits of being members of a labor union, while in the 1960s and 1970s, one out of three workers were labor union members. The Northeast and the Pacific Coast are the areas of most labor unions that are doing well, while so called “right to work” laws keep workers in the South and much of the center of the nation relatively poor by comparison, as we have a new “Gilded Age” of business running rampant over workers, reminding us of the late 19th century.

Disturbing Social Trends: Anti Gay, Anti Labor, Anti Women, Anti Immigrant, Anti Black

The news seems to be more disturbing by the day, as social trends are moving more and more in the direction of hate, prejudice, bias, and narrow mindedness.

Witness the following examples:

In New Jersey, an immature college student. Dharun Ravi, is convicted on all charges of a hate crime against a gay roommate who he streamed a liaison with another man on a webcam, causing that young man, Tyler Clementi, to commit suicide. What a stupid, and self destructive act by a young man who has now destroyed his life, after having done the same to the unfortunate Clementi, which will lead to Ravi’s prison sentence and likely deportation to India. So we have two promising young men at Rutgers University who have been tragically transformed by the prejudice and discrimination that is too widespread in this country, including by so called “religious good Christians”, which have led not just to this incident, but to the crisis of bullying that has caused many other suicides of gay youth, and this backed by right wing conservatives allied with the religious fanatics who do not promote the love of God, which they claim they believe, while practicing hypocrisy.

Then we have the example of a law firm in Deerfield Beach, Florida, which fired a whole group of workers who dressed in orange shirts for work, planning for “happy hour’ on Friday evening! Just for wearing an orange shirt, these people are summarily dismissed, and Florida state law, being that the Sunshine State is a “right to work” state, the employer can dismiss without any just cause or explanation, an outrage to all working people, who see conservatives and businessmen condemn labor unions which try to make work conditions better for all of us, even those not in labor unions. The average American has benefited from the labor movement over the past century, but yet labor unions are pilloried, and workers are abused, as with this example! And witness the anti labor actions in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere that have occurred in the past year!

The fight against women’s right to privacy and their dignity continues with restrictive legislation on contraception being pursued in yet more states, most recently in Arizona and Pennsylvania, on top of the outrageous vaginal probe law in Virginia and similar actions elsewhere.

Immigrants are facing widespread discrimination, whether legal or illegal, in Arizona, Alabama and elsewhere, and now we have the case of a basketball player, who is Puerto Rican and a citizen, facing chants of where his green card is, at a game at the University of Southern Mississippi. Immigrants are being abused, harassed, and victimized daily in the discriminatory, nativist mood that this nation has become obsessed with in recent years.

And African Americans, as always, face greater discrimination, so we have the case of a black teenager in Sanford, Florida, shot to death by a Neighborhood Patrol volunteer, who thought this young man was dangerous and suspicious, even though all he had on him was some Skittles and a soda, but leading to being shot in the chest and killed, and so far, no prosecution of what is obviously an unjustifiable action. It does not add to the image of Florida as to its handling of racial matters, reminding us of the days of segregation and lynching in the state’s past a half century and more ago!

The country is disintegrating from within socially, a very worrisome issue that must be addressed, with the one bright spot being media reporting and exposure, and the reality that liberals and progressives will not stay silent in the midst of these disturbing social trends!