“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped.” —Martin Luther King
Today, Lansing passed House Bill 4003, making Michigan the 24th right to work state. I’m both sickened and proud. I am sickened at the politicians and their back door, lame duck tactics. I am appalled at the strong arm move by our legislators. I am even more disgusted at the man that claims to represent the Michigan people, the in the pocket salesman for DeVos and Koch, Rick Snyder. I can’t, with clear conscience, respect him as a man or as the Governor of Michigan, nor can I title him as such. I am proud. I am proud of the turnout in Lansing, the solidarity, the movement to expose corrupt politicians bought by equally corrupt billionaire businessmen. I am proud of our labor soldiers, the work force isn’t going to bow down and feed from the hand of poverty, simply because it is shoved in their faces via the republican majority.
Yesterday, after discussing the Right to Work Bill with a colleague, I received a phone call saying schools were closing so the teachers could attend the Lansing protest. I felt chills rise in every pore of my body. The people were uniting. We are well bred Americans that don’t accept or take kindly to totalitarianism. It is about time we stood tall and proud and seized the bar that our ancestors reached and the politicians have knocked to the ground spinning us in a backward spiral. I wished for every district in Michigan to close their doors and shout out to the Snyder dictatorship, “We’ve had enough!” Though, I knew this bill was coming when proposal 2 failed. Of course, it didn’t pass due to confusion and false advertising, go figure.
So, I spent yesterday talking to people. I spoke with different levels of educators. It began with speaking with a handsome history teacher. We stood in the hall and discussed the parallel of American politics with Mussolini’s Italy and the blinders the people wear, in their complacency, to shield themselves from their own reality. There is no doubt, the American people are fat on their own beliefs of what should be, but many are totally misdirected by the hype and commercialism of what is really going on, right in front of them. They tell the giant pink elephant to move out of the way of their 60 inch flat screens so they can continue to watch the deceptions of Shawn Hannity and his FOX news cohorts, a known specialty of Rupert Murdock.
I then moved on to the principle. I wanted to know why this particular school wasn’t closing. (I am omitting the name of the district to protect those who spoke with me.) To me, closing the district and protesting in Lansing was a first hand lesson for my American born children. To me, it is the people, the same people considered in “by and for,” standing for American rights. It is the meaning of being an American in the purest form. If my American government can send my America children overseas to fight against construed terrorism under the assumption of protecting Americans on American soil, why aren’t we teaching our children to protect their own freedoms on domestic soil? Why isn’t our freedom from our own captors far more important than our instilled fears, by that same government, by those same teachers, in our homeland? I don’t think it’s only Benito and I who understand and see where America is moving. I was quite impressed with the response from the principle at the school I was questioning. This meeting prompted me to follow through with an acting Superintendent. There, as I could almost see the lace hanky being laid out for the luncheon prayer, I saw the reason. I left the Superintendent’s office with these words: “If you can’t help teach my children what it means to stand up to be an American, I will.” I turned and walked away, knowing she didn’t understand and was totally clueless as to what I was really saying. I hope she prayed for the clarity.
Being from Michigan, I remember being raised against the entire Right to Work agenda. It was in the Right to Work states that we found poverty, lack of education, hazardous working conditions, and low, if any health benefits. It was a tool the republicans used against Bill Clinton as he ran for office, the republicans cried Bill would destroy our great nation; after all, he governed a Right to Work state. Shame on him. Yet, Bill never did what the same republican base has been doing to workers rights since Bill left office. He did quite the opposite, didn’t he? He raised taxes on the super wealthy by 3 percent and he pulled us up and forward, only for George to come in, reverse those taxes, and the decline in our economy began. The wealthy knew where to put their loyalties, and vice versa.
Unions have been bashed. Gone is the thug mentality of the early days. This is survival of the labor force. Without the power of the labor force we have nothing. Our middle class is being weeded out and who benefits? We all know the middle class tax base carries the nation. Shall we foolishly continue to blame the man with the tied hands and universal healthcare?
Right to Work does not feed jobs to the populous. Right to work saps $850,000 from the economy for every million saved in wages. For non union women their earnings are an average of $129.00 a week lower than their union counterparts. The general earnings for non union members is 3.2 percent less than those with the union protections. Let’s not forget the 53 percent more work place deaths in Right to Work states. At a time when the cost of living continues to skyrocket can we all afford to earn less? At a time when even the union members have given concession after concession, can we afford to lose the protections? What’s on the chopping block next? I know: child labor laws.
Of course, this is another example of what happens when the billionaires are told no. They are coming out in full force. Oh how the voters are going to pay for not allowing their guy to run the country. That’s okay, though, they still have key players in the governorships they puppeteer and Michigan homes the greatest Pinocchio of all. Snyder claimed Right to Work wasn’t on his agenda, bologna! I think he is lacking air living in the pocket of those who control him. His brain is starving for oxygen. Breathe Snyder, breathe, you may regain a brain cell or two that you lost since you crawled in the pocket of betrayal and bullshit.
To those of you that are bashing the teachers for caring more about their union than about the children, open your eyes. It is standing up for the children and protecting the system. These same puppeteers are opting for a free market education system, too. They want to privatize. That would mean the end to the open mind in America. Oh, yes, I’ve heard that those educated in our system today is the socialist agenda, why is intelligence and the ability to open your mind, to think beyond what is pushed in your face, socialist? If that be the case, I invite it. It may free America from the corporate chains that bind her.
The spin is this bill gives people the choice to decide if they want to join the union. It also takes away automatically deducting union dues, basically choking the financial throat of the unions. The problem with this choice is the non union member will reap the same benefits as the members that pay their dues, eventually abolishing the union. Once that happens, the rights that were gained with the union no longer have protection and they will fall to the wayside. Then, and only then, will the people that supported this Right to Work farce, realize what they have done to us all. They will then see what they have done to themselves, but it will be too late. Wages will be worse than they are now, which is comparatively lower than the late seventies, benefits will be nil, and without benefits they will find Obama care a blessing, because there won’t be anything left, but. They will help the labor force become the dependent farce of the underpaid, the poverty stricken, with the same security as the Wal-Mart worker. I want to be there when they find themselves applying for the entitlement of food stamps.
I hope we shut this state down. I hope the labor force, both union and non union, put an end to the war against the middle class, against women, against the working class that has built America. I want the billionaires to be put in their place. I want the elite to know they are only as good as the workers that built them. I want them to know we are not going to stand for their financial smack down any longer. Stand up, America, and shut them down. Show them the strength and the pride that America stands for, I think they forgot when they shipped everything, along with our jobs, to China.
Right to Work, Michigan? We always looked down on the lower education of the southern states that were forced into this way of living. It is what keeps the civil war alive in many southern minds, the north thinks they are better. Thing is, we were, we didn’t accept poverty with God as a pretense, a wall to hide behind, we didn’t buy into slave labor, until now. Good job, Michigan, I’m ashamed.
Wake up America, Open your eyes,
Till the next time, Solidarity and Peace!