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The 1912 Strike for Bread and Roses

Among the many, many, many disturbing things that occurred yesterday, Wednesday, February 1, 2017, was the submission, by House Republicans Steve King and Joe Wilson, of a “National Right To Work Bill.”

Given the fact that Donald Trump has already said that this is a thing he supports, it is very likely to pass. And that is an extremely bad thing. It is a very, very, very, very, very bad thing. For all of us, not just those of us in unions. It is possibly the most insidious thing they are doing right now, and we need to be paying attention to it.

Proponents of Right to Work (RTW) laws insist that they are merely advocating for FREEDOM. Freedom to belong to a union, or not belong to a union. Freedom to pay union dues, or to not pay union dues. But what these laws do is cripple the power of unions and lessen their ability to effectively bargain for higher wages and better working conditions. To boot, they also create a class of “free riders” — because although people can choose not to join a union and pay dues, the union still has to represent them and their interests — and thus, a declining ability to effectively advocate for workers.

This is, as you might imagine, not at all about “freedom” for workers. It is about decimating unions — which Republicans see as a threat to their political power, on account of the fact that they traditionally back Democratic candidates, and it is about company owners getting to pay their workers less. And less, and less, and less as time goes on.

If we want fair wages, if we want equal pay, if we want maternity/paternity leave, if we want safe workplaces, the only way we are getting those things for quite some time is through unions and collective bargaining. Rather than letting unions deteriorate, we need more unionization, and we need those unions to fight for those things, and make them so normal that non-unionized companies have to play along or lose out on qualified labor. We need unions now more than ever.

We also need to fight for this if we ever want to win another election. Because we need to be the party that stands up for the American worker. We need to fight poverty, we need to fight for higher wages and a higher standard of living.

There are a lot of people out there who voted for Trump on account of the fact that he said he’d bring manufacturing jobs back, assuming that those jobs would pay like they did before NAFTA. This will ensure that even if they do, by some miracle, come back, they will not be doing that. If you think companies are going to go from paying sweatshop wages to paying you a living wage out of the goodness of their hearts without pressure from a union, you are an idiot. Manufacturing jobs did not always pay well — people had to fucking fight and die for them to pay well.

This legislation will be a major hit to the black community, in particular. Black workers — specifically black female workers — are more likely to be represented by a union than any other demographic. Union membership provides a buffer to wage discrimination based on race and sex, resulting in those who belong to unions making higher wages and receiving better benefits than their non-union peers.

Via the Center For Economic and Policy Research:

Black union workers in low-wage occupations have wages that are 18.9 percent higher than their non-union counterparts.

Black immigrants are more likely than native Blacks to be unionized. In 2015, Black immigrant workers had a unionization rate of 16.9 percent compared to 13.8 percent for native Blacks.

Unionization rates for Black workers have declined across all sectors, but the decline has been especially steep for manufacturing (from 42.3 percent in 1983 to 13.3 percent in 2015).

Black union workers on average earn $24.24 per hour, compared to $17.78 for non-union Black workers.

71.4 percent of Black union workers have employer-provided health insurance, compared to 47.7 percent of non-union Black workers.

61.6 percent of Black union members have employer-sponsored retirement plans, compared to 38.2 percent of non-union Black workers.

Economic justice is also social justice. There is a reason so many of our most admired and fiercest advocates for social change were union organizers. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, A. Philip Randolph, Dolores Huerta, Lucy Parsons, Cesar Chavez all came from labor. Martin Luther King was assassinated while helping to organize a sanitation worker’s strike in Memphis. It is a way to fight for social change without the permission of the government, which is why Republicans hate it.

If one single factor is to blame the most for the extreme, unequal distribution of wealth in this country, it is the decline of unions. If all those “white working class Trump supporters” want to know why they are “poor” — it is the decline of unions. Not only did unions raise wages for their workers, they increased wages across the board — because non-union companies had to compete with union wages. This is still true today. Workers in Right To Work states make an average of $6,109 less a year than states that don’t have “Right To Work” on the books.

Unions have been steadily losing power since the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan broke the air traffic controllers strike, setting a dangerous precedent. To summarize, the union went on strike, and instead of negotiating with them, Reagan just fired them all and hired new people for less money, and then also banned all those who struck from ever having a federal job again — a ban later lifted by President Clinton. Prior to that, this was an unthinkable thing to do. Reagan made it thinkable.

In addition to that (and, admittedly, several public scandals involving corrupt union bosses), Republicans further pushed an anti-union agenda by aggressively pushing the idea that unions were essentially anti-American. Real Americans wanted to negotiate their salaries for themselves! Because why should they make the same amount of money as someone who wasn’t as good as them?

And won’t someone please think of the poor job creators? Who won’t be able to create jobs and profit from them if you don’t let them pay people next to nothing to do them?

Convincing Americans that their fellow Americans are all just lazy fucks who just want to mooch off of their hard work is one of the greatest tricks the GOP ever pulled. Keeping poor people more resentful of other poor people than they are of the rich is a great way to keep those people poor.

As a result, people are fucking poor now, and CEOs are incredibly, incredibly wealthy. Because surprise! Your boss doesn’t actually think you are worth more than that guy over there! He doesn’t think you’re as special as you think you are! And that guy over there probably thinks you’re not as good as he is.

Americans, by and large, have bought this line of thinking. They have drifted away from embracing labor rights and unions the way they used to, and no longer bother looking for the union label. Union membership is constantly decreasing, and I regularly hear people brag about working 60+ hours a week, never taking actual lunch breaks, etc. etc. Millennials, in particular, so fear the “entitled” label thrust upon them, that they feel the need to work more than they are paid for, and constantly disparage other millennials as the “entitled” ones that they are different from.

Last year, a woman who worked for Yelp’s Eat24 service wrote an open letter complaining to the CEO about how little she was paid, and was subsequently roasted by the internet for being so entitled as to think she ought to be able to buy groceries on her salary. And then was fired by Yelp. Ugh! Can you even believe it? How tacky! And why is she living in San Francisco if she doesn’t have money (never mind the fact that in order to operate in San Francisco, Eat24 does require employees that live there)! She should be grateful she even has a job!

Thinking about this behavior as some kind of unprecedented “everyone deserves a trophy” entitlement is part of the scam. You see, many years ago, people regularly fought for higher wages. They even died for them. They died for the weekend, for the 40 hour work week, for lunch breaks — and they died for unions.

Back in 1912, workers in a textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, launched what is popularly known as the “Strike for Bread and Roses,” due to the fact that their pay was cut when a new law shortened the work week. A strike led by poor, immigrant women and children. One woman, Anna LoPizzo, was shot and killed by police during the strike. But they fought, and they won.

The term “Bread and Roses” comes from a speech by socialist and feminist Rose Schneiderman, in which she said that “The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.” Meaning that not only must people be paid enough to eat, but also to enjoy their lives. Were someone to say that now, they would certainly be called “entitled.”

But thank goodness they were entitled, huh? Thank goodness they did not put the “job creators'” well-being and ability to profit above their own needs. Thank goodness they were not scared of being told “Well then I guess we won’t be creating any jobs for you in the future” and didn’t buy into that shit anyway. Thank goodness they were not frightened off by the kind of anti-union bullshit that Wal-Mart feeds its employees. Thank goodness they were brave. Because otherwise, our lives would all be pretty damned miserable right now.

If anything, we, as a country, have become far less entitled than we need to be. We have forgotten how to be brave, we have forgotten how to fight. We are all too willing to gratefully accept whatever is handed to us. We are entitled to labor rights, we are entitled to fair wages, we are entitled to overtime, we are entitled to robust unions that fight for those things. We must stop national Right To Work For Less, because it’s only going to get worse from there.

They are coming for the trade unionists, and — this time — we had better speak the fuck up.

[ThinkProgress]

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  • proudgrampa

    THIS WILL NOT STAND!!!!!

  • Yr. Gma
  • theblackdog

    *claps* Bravo!

    I’m management now so I can’t join the union here, but I sure as hell don’t have a problem with having them around.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Chewing gum, all out of it, etc.

  • Chadwells
  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Let’s see how well those well-paying manufacturing jobs pay after this shit passes, shall we, TrumpPenceZees?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f1481b889b2de80cccce353434bc880adb2d2103c84c0d34bafb6015f70d26b5.jpg

    • Yr. Gma

      One more thing the mouth breathers didn’t think through.

    • georgiaburning

      Vote for a guy who likes to say “you’re fired” and this is a surprise to you?

  • JMP

    Look, if a worker wants more money, then they need to individually negotiate that with their company, because that always works well and isn’t just going to result in getting fired unless you’re in a high-skilled management position; besides, there are absolutely no systematic problems in the world, only individual ones, so just as bad schools are solely the fault of bad teachers, underpaying jobs are solely the fault of workers who don’t ask for as much; and as a corollary, woman and people of color making less money for the same jobs must just mean they’re worse at negotiating pay than white men are.

    • Little Lulu ResistanceFighter

      Uh, right. That’ll work.

    • Vecchioivan

      I’m Dr. Pangloss and I approve this message.

      • Amy!

        Let us tend our garden.

      • WomanInTheResistance

        I appreciate the candidness.

        • Amy!

          It was truly the best of all possible comments.

          • WomanInTheResistance

            And you win the internet!

          • Wild Cat

            And for extra-specialness, a bunch of crushed Portugese religious loons inspired it.

        • Jeffery Campbell

          Don’t mind me…I’m just over here glittering and being gay.

          • WomanInTheResistance

            We all can stand to have more glittery people in our lives.

      • Wild Cat

        Who ate half of my ass?

    • Resistance Fighter Callyson

      And it’s not as if women are viewed negatively if they negotiate. There’s no penalty for doing so at ALL!!!

      • JMP

        Nope, men are just genetically programmed to be better at negotiating than women, just as white people are genetically superior at it than black and brown people!

        The sad thing is, I’ve seen that exact claim made by way too many bigots who also manage to screech that it’s unfair to call them misogynist or racist at the same time.

  • JohnBull

    As an Iowan, I’m sorry for Steve King. I wish I could tell you people in western (oh, hell, most of) Iowa weren’t all racist, close-minded, nasty, homophobic and fucking stupid. I really wish I could.

    • Wild Cat

      Every time I eat corn, I think of Steve King the next day. . .

  • Blacktop Autumn

    Howzat workin’ for you Michigan and Wisconsin, btw? All the blue collar shits who voted for the orange Cheeto should enjoy the loss of things like the prevailing wage and the loss of bennies and raises coming with this.

    • moebym posted this

      But at least the coloreds are going to have it worse!

      • Blacktop Autumn

        Yup, and you ain’t gotta be PC anymore!

      • Wild Cat

        “Pimp Up! Midwest Trump Ho Down!”

    • Wild Cat

      Topless bars gonna collapse like these morons’ unemployed bellies on beer.

      • Blacktop Autumn

        Good news, I hear opiod addiction is a great weight loss tool.

      • zerosumgame0005

        they will have to go for GOP conventions there every week!

        • Wild Cat

          I think the neo-Confederacy has plenty of Sodom and Gommorrah to enjoy…I mean, protest against.

    • Jacob Prescott

      Our banks accounts will be void of money, but full of freedom!

    • Up In Smoke O’hontas

      It’s shitty. Very, very shitty.

  • msanthropesmr

    My suits are union made in the USA. They cost a bit more, but at least I don’t look like Donald Trump.

    • goonemeritus

      I’m a Hickey Freeman guy myself, made in Rochester NY by people I meet shopping at Wegmans.

  • boyblue122

    Unions also protect against companies forcing their employees to do unsafe labor.

    Without unions, if a person refuses to do a job because it is unsafe they risk being fired. With Unions they dont have to worry about being fired

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Safety is for losers. An unscrupulous legal team can deal with all the fallout.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    They are coming for the trade unionists, and — this time — we had better speak the fuck up.

    The ghosts of Homestead approve this message,

    • georgiaburning

      May 1st might be more interesting this year

  • msanthropesmr

    Ot, but I vote for chalk and string for our new commenting system.

  • Serai 1

    Next time Wonkette has an article about workers’ rights and unions, how about addressing the idiotic connotations that have stuck to the term “Luddite” like glue? The Luddites were NOT anti-technology. They were protesting THE LOSS OF JOBS and income due to machines taking over their work. You know, JUST LIKE NOW.

    The “hates technology” bullshit that has accrued to that name is just another manifestation of how our rights are subsumed to those of the rich – they get all the money, and we get shit. They get to redefine everything, and the people are too distracted or ignorant to realize those who should be heroes are instead demonized. The Luddites were fighting for US. For the WORKERS. For the people BETRAYED by the rich and the powerful.

    You want a badge of honor? Call yourself a Luddite. There’s REAL honor.

    • Wild Cat

      Unabomber libelz?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      You have to give the assholes in Britain credit; that meme is a very strong one, and utterly misses the point, to the advantage of the assholes.

  • Serai 1

    I hope our new commenting system has troll-banning properties, the way Disqus used to have.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      I hope it sends cruise missiles to the IP addresses of the trolls.

      • Serai 1

        Disqus used to have the option of “vote him off the island” – enough downvotes and a comment just disappeared.

    • PubOption

      Is Shy promising that we will have p points that we can use?

  • Crystalclear12

    Don’t you know unions are an evil tool of the Democratic party?

    Are we great yet?

    • WomanInTheResistance

      If by “great” you mean “fucked”, yes.

  • Lizzietish81

    Get ready for some real economic anxiety.

  • Chadwells

    OT: In other horrible disgusting news:

    “Breitbart editor starts scholarship for just white men”

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/02/politics/milo-yiannopoulos-white-men-scholarship-trnd/index.html

    • Wild Cat

      “Breitbart editor starts scholarship for just white men”

      Some black men say there are no just white men.

    • Amy!

      Is there a qualifying test? “You must also be stupid, bigoted, and mean. Addicted and clinically insane a plus!”

      • MynameisBlarney

        You forgot the “Must also have a smaller than average penis, and secretly crave hot and steamy manbuttsecks.”

        • Amy!

          You’re saying it’s designed so that the first, umm, recipient will be TLM?

          Well, and he’s also to receive the scholarship, I mean.

    • Serai 1

      Okay, all you liberal refugee-loving, democracy-upholding white men. Time to GO BACK TO SCHOOL!

      Seriously, there should be a movement to FLOOD his little proposal with applications from liberal white men. They should get thousands and thousands of such proposals, to the point where it costs more to deal with them than the whole thing is worth.

    • JMP

      The vile little racist and misogynist harassing prick has been collecting money for that shit for some time, and he’s been getting a heel of a lot of mockery for many months now that he hasn’t actually done anything with it.

      • Chadwells

        I would greatly enjoy violencing him. He’s such a fucking piece of human trash.

        • JMP

          That’s why I was so disappointed when a protester through shit in Martin Shkreli’s face a few weeks ago – he was with Milo at the time, and yet that evil stain didn’t also get hit in the face with shit like he so richly deserves.

          • wide_stance_hubby

            That’d just be throwing good shit after bad.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      “Must be as blond as Hitler, as svelte as Göring, as buff as Goebbels.”

    • moebym posted this

      As if white men did not already have all the advantages…here’s another one.

      *eyeroll*

  • Resistance Ftr PuckStopsHere

    Here in Michigan, Gov. “Leadpipe” Snyder called it “a good thing for workers” when he crammed a right to work bill through the state lege. It was so good a deal in fact that he specifically excluded police and firefighters unions from the bill. Why does the governor of Michigan hate our first responders?

  • MynameisBlarney

    They just can’t seem to help themselves…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twrJOkjv02E

    • Chadwells

      See? All this other calamity drowns out this important info. I have been reading about this plagiarism for a couple days now…but no one seems to have noticed. Dickface Donnie is making it impossible to keep up with every fucking con, scam and tragedy!!!

      • chortlingdingo

        That might be part of the point. Meanwhile, Shadow President Bannon is working on as many nefarious things as he can while we’re all trying to figure out which of Trump’s fuck-ups to focus on.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      “Plagiarism is a fresh, innovative approach to solving a problem. Our education system should encourage it.”
      — Betsy DeVos

      • Gayer Than Thou

        “Plagiarism is a fresh, innovative approach to solving a problem. Our education system should encourage it.”
        — Gayer Than Thou

        • JMP

          “Plagiarism is a fresh, innovative approach to solving a problem. Our education system should encourage it.”
          -Shia LaBoeuf

          • Villago Delenda Est

            “Plagiarism is a fresh, innovative approach to solving a problem. Our education system should encourage it.”
            – Melania Trump

    • suziq

      They obviously don’t care about plagiarism so no biggie.
      And not that I think Betsy is a fine upstanding citizen but how come the only cabinet person that seems to be getting such a hard time is the woman? I know the dems boycotted 2 men but they just changed the rules and moved along. There are actually 2 Republicans voting against Betsy, but they are women too. Not going anywhere in particular with this, just that everything is really super fucked up. The end.

  • bookish

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/02/02/us-eases-some-economic-sanctions-against-russia/97399136/
    The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday eased some economic sanctions against Russia, specifically licensing cyber-security sales to the Russian Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, according to official documents.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-russia-sanctions-exemptions-treasury-234547

    • Anna Rompage

      Are you shitting me?

      • Serai 1

        Well, duh. The Russians have been working to infiltrate the cybersecurity of the US for years now. Did you think Trump wouldn’t eagerly help them along?

      • Wild Cat

        No. That’s David Vitter’s job.

      • bookish
      • Zippy W Pinhead

        yup, while Don the con was on TeeVee swearing he wouldn’t

    • Villago Delenda Est

      THIS.IS.INSANE

      So just another day in the Donald Malasstration.

      • Wild Cat

        I’m trying to figure out why the Power Elite is allowing this (and his “presidency”). Any ideas?

        • cheetojeebus

          There a re few related tweets on roguepotus
          https://twitter.com/GeorgeTakei/status/827216130435608578

        • laughingnome

          Tax cuts. And it’s been a long time since corporate elites cared about the nation – they are transnational entities and people.

          • Wild Cat

            True. But they’re all not insane gamblers. Some realize there’s value in stability. I guess they were voted down by the “disrupters.”

          • laughingnome

            I think they feel they can get a better deal in an oligarchy. It costs less to bribe a few politicians than pay taxes and health benefits.

        • Stulexington

          You say that like they actually have any control. They thought they’d have control of a fellow grifter but sucks to be them! He’s doing what he wants and what he wants is what Putin and Bannon tell him he wants. At least when his son in law babysitter isn’t around.

      • NO this is TRUMPA!!!!!

    • laughingnome

      Next: The US Capitol and White House will be moved to Red Square, Moscow, Russia

    • cheetojeebus

      Christ on a god damn cracker. Out muther fucking rageous.

    • laughingnome

      I’m so pissed right now I could get a job as a Russian hooker.

    • Wild Cat

      They have the map of Belfast written on their faces . . . oops!…did I say something wrong?

  • Latverian Diplomat

    I guess if the Republicans support this then red states are done using state right to work laws to steal employers from blue states?

    Because if right to work is universal, all red states can offer is a workforce full of poorly educated Trumpkins.

    • suziq

      Right now different states have state minimum wages, but we will probably get rid of that soon too. Who needs them, am I right??

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Republicans sincerely believe in Federalism…until they don’t need to any more.

      • Proud Liberal

        Of course, we all know Republicans don’t want a national minimum wage. I’m assuming, they will be writing up a bill on that very soon.

  • Swampay

    a quibble, if I may. The SINGLE largest cause of inequality I believe is the tax code. For instance – I was taught classic economics in school (twice – I got an MBA) and I believe in fair trade as a principle. Fair trade* between nations benefits both nations.

    Of course, classic economics was started around 250 years ago, same time as US America. It made sense then to argue in terms of nations as primary beneficiaries of trade. (Maybe).

    But now the more important issue is, “Who within that country benefits?” Ricardo talked about free movement of resources among industries, but that doesn’t happen when the resources are human. Nonetheless, the “Nation” (in the guise of major corporations) benefits.

    The failure of our government to equalize the benefit of their policies, to tax the big winners and share with the smaller winners, is one of the reasons why we have such inequality.

    Another example is technology. As blue collar jobs are automated, the number of jobs dwindles down to a few well-off programmers, a few wealthy executives, and a handful of massively wealthy owners at the top. And a janitor.

    It’s beneficial to society, but WAY more beneficial to the few at the top. So tax ’em! Even that shit out.

    In closing (damn I do go on) let me mention that the tax cuts of 2000 were meant to be a temporary fix to all the (“excess”) money raked in under the Clinton administration. How in the FUCK did that become permanent?

    • suziq

      Because it worked so well? The biggest misconception right now about taxes (I think) is that “we” are over taxed. If that were true the rich would not be getting exponentially richer. Those people are not hurting, they are acquiring wealth for the fun of it. There isn’t enough time in their day to buy more houses, cars and yachts. Then you have people working 2 or 3 jobs that feed their families. If they can’t see what that leads to then I would like to refer them to Marie Antoinette.
      MMMmmm, now I want cake.

      • chortlingdingo

        I feel like if people can afford to live $2 million/month lifestyles (like Johnny Depp, holy shit how do you even spend that much money every month), then they can afford to pay their full share of taxes.

        They’d probably whine about how if they had to pay full taxes, they just wouldn’t be able to maintain the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed.

        • suziq

          Johnny Depp probably can’t really afford $2mil/month right now, though that is disturbing to think about. But people like, oh, any of the banker assholes, would not even notice if their tax rate was 50% because the money just sits around making more money. Numbers on a computer, that doesn’t change their lifestyle at all.
          I think we can convince the masses if we change the conversation to “make taxes more fair” and convince them it means whatever they want it to mean. But I am a dreamer.

      • Swampay

        Ayup If cutting taxes for the wealthy is such a great idea, WHY HASN’T IT WORKED ALREADY!?!?!?!?!? (sorry, I get carried away). The richest 8 people have more wealth than HALF of the rest of the world?!??!? At what point do they stop collecting bigger numbers??

        • chortlingdingo

          Never. Those kind of people never feel like they have enough.

          • Historicat

            That’s not fair – it’s not just about how much they have but about how much other people don’t have. How can you be expected to really enjoy your billions if some low-class loser isn’t miserable?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Because a deserting coward was in office from 2001-2009.

      • Swampay

        goes without saying

  • PubOption

    If the Repubs can’t enact ‘Right to Work’ nationally, they will do it state by state. The Repub majority in Missouri will pass a bill shortly and the Repub governor will gleefully sign it.

    • suziq

      They now have it in over half the states.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Won’t happen on the left coast. I do feel badly for everyone else, though.

      • Swampgas_Man

        They’ve been trying to get it in Pennsylvania for years.

  • Gayer Than Thou

    Oh em gee, the endless debates I’ve had with my uncle over unions, who – it won’t surprise you to learn – has worked his whole life in jobs that would have been better and paid more if he’d had a union. Being a Depression-era employee, he always felt lucky to have a job at all, and desperately afraid to complain about anything, lest he be canned. Admittedly, unions and labor law are not my area of expertise (that would be gay porn, which he does not want to debate), but it seems to me that belonging to a strong union and having contract rights would have helped with that fear. But what do I know?

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      maybe you can help organize the ghey pron workers?

      (emphasis on organ)

      • therblig

        Local 69?

        if the president can be 12, so can i.

  • JMP
  • puredog

    Pshaw, low blow bringing up Reagan’s doing the “unthinkable.” I mean, that was then, this is now. Irrelevant to the present.

  • How shocking. Who would’ve thought it

    https://twitter.com/Charlesthornt/status/827227036112519168

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Who would’ve thought it

      All of us pulling our hair out before the election, trying to get Drumpf voters and third party voters to fucking pay attention?

      • Roadstergal

        Then, and now, I want to yell at them – Hey, guess what! There’s one candidate who was an integral part of Obama’s administration and who was virtually guaranteed to keep the ship going in the same direction! FFS.

    • Bill D. Burger

      Quelle surprise! ___ I can’t count the number of articles I’ve seen where someone began with, “I voted for Trump, but I wish I had known…..”
      Gawwdammit…Makes me furious. Where were these dumazzzes’? They seem to think they were in a game show, and now just want to stop it. I don’t feel sorry at all for them, but for informed and sane America, I tremble with fear and I sympathize wholeheartedly.

      https://media.giphy.com/media/TNYy8aY7yateU/giphy.gif

      • Stulexington

        The worst is the “but I thought I would be immune! Now that this is hurting me I want out!” assholes.

        • WomanInTheResistance

          Sherri does rather spring to mind.

    • suziq

      What is a million times worse are the people that are happy with the way things are going. They love the Muslim ban! They love how “strong” Donald is when he hangs up on Australia and threatens Mexico. That is all we have been lacking-a strong leader who tells it like it is!
      Those people I want to punch in the face yeah yeah with votes or whatever.

  • suziq

    These assholes have been working towards this for decades, and now finally everything is lining up for them to achieve their goal of no unions. Next-no minimum wage, then we will finally have free markets where the job creators can hire whoever is willing to work for the least amount of money. What could possibly go wrong? And they tell the workers it is good for them because they won’t have to pay union dues. When I had a union business people like King And Wilson would have their minions call me and try to get me to contribute because they figured if I was a business owner I must be a like-minded Republican. hey were mistaken. I remember one time they had me listen to a recorded message then she comes back on and asked what I thought. So I said let me ask you something. Would you prefer to make $33/hr with great medical/dental/pension and pay $50 a month in union dues, or would you rather make $12 an hour with no benefits but not have to pay union dues? And she said-duh, I would take the union job. And I said the reason I am in the union is because when I need more workers I call the union hall and they send me qualified people. I am too small to advertise, hire, and train people when I might need several employees to be ready for a job in a couple of days. Works well all the way around so quit trying to mess with it. If somebody doesn’t want to be in a union they can get a job for a non-union company. In the private sector of course, in the public sector all the teachers, police etc are required to be in the union. BUT the union is just the employees uniting and deciding what is in their best interest. They aren’t beholden to union bosses, the union reps work for them. And in a lot of cases are them.
    Time to bring the fight back!!

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Every fucking gain of the 20th Century for the common man was paid for in blood. We should not have to pay that price again, but it’s looking like someone’s blood is going to be the currency here.

      • jowgajen

        Sadly I believe this to be true.

  • jesuswasablack

    Pence pulled this magic trick in Indiana as Gov. He softened up the tea-tards by first going after those femi-nazi teacher unionists and nobody said shit. Then he decided to go after those no good lazy steel-workers and still not much push-back? Then he went after the trades (mostly white guys many of whom bizarrely vote republicant) then all the shit hit the fan, Pence was reviled all over the state and was certainly not going to get re-elected? He was lucky to get the gig as Trumps taint washer, otherwise it would have been wing-nut welfare over at heritage!
    https://media1.fdncms.com/nuvo/imager/u/original/3291733/kevin_warren_2015_007_copy.jpg

    • Villago Delenda Est

      And by “must go” we mean [redacted in deference to the Commenting Rules for Radicals]

    • Chadwells

      I have long maintained that Pence is FAR more evil that Trump. Trump is simply a fucking moron playing president which presents it’s own world of trouble. Pence is downright fucking evil. He is who the GOP really wanted. They tricked Trump into taking him on as VP. I’m sure once Trump finally buries himself in his own bullshit…the GOP will back Pence in a blink of an eye and then REALLY go fanboy on destroying the country and rolling it back to the good ‘ol 1600’s!!

  • jesuswasablack
  • bookish
    • Blacktop Autumn

      Christian nationalism is a thing.

      A shitty, Nazi inspired thing, but a thing nonetheless.

  • memzilla Ω

    Black union workers on average earn $24.24 per hour, compared to $17.78 for non-union Black workers.

    Anyone care to guess what the minimum wage would be if it had kept pace with inflation and the increase in productivity since 1968?

    $21.50 AN HOUR.

    The difference, as you can see in the chart below, has gone into the pockets of the .1%. Also as you can see in the chart below, an inverse relationship between middle class wages and union membership

    THIS IS WHAT WAGE THEFT LOOKS LIKE

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/772d26aac42072d32c348b0d18fa4303d7e8a226e59e4cabbe04f81654cd11d3.jpg

  • chortlingdingo

    I can’t imagine that cops would allow their unions to be disbanded without a fuss.

    • Chadwells

      Oh…I’m sure he will find a way to sidestep hurting those jackwagon cop unions.

    • Shan

      They don’t have to be disbanded if it’s Federal law that they have to provide their services for free.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Pffft, first responders will be exempted- they need their hired muscle

      • Villago Delenda Est

        Hired goons. Shows you care.

    • SayItWithOtters

      Ever hang around a fire station? They’ll spend a whole day wailing over how their union kills babies before switching to bragging about their boats and the three week fishing trips coming up.

  • Asterix

    List of RTW States:

    Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

    Red, blood red, each of them. Soon, add New Hampshire to the list.

  • going4baroque

    the hard-hearted and greed infested philosophy of union busters is in essence what the whole of the Republican party philosophy is, federal, state and local slugs who want to beat down unions, which is the same as beating down the middle class so that it will disappear and the rich robber barons continue the agenda of shaping cultural values to conform (deform) to the greed of the rich and powerful interests.

  • exinkwretch

    Right to work for less protects our freedoms! And if your paycheck isn’t big enough to pay for food or health insurance, the government is there with food stamps and free medical care! Wait, what?

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Use our DIsqus logins. How about our Farcebook and Twitler logins?

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      I wonder if our old ID logins will work again, other than in Wonkville?

      LONG LIVE THE P’NESS!!!

  • goonemeritus

    I don’t think this is what Trump’s working class base had in mind when they voted for him. I’m not bitter enough to take joy in this but I will watch their response with great interest.

    • laughingnome

      Yes, it will be interesting.

  • Kakkeltje

    In a few years time the Chinese will be complaining about the cheap American crap in their stores. And maybe some will feel bad about buying stuff that poor American children had to fabricate in sweat shops.

  • weejee

    ♪ In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold

    Greater than the might of armies magnified a thousandfold

    We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old

    For the Union makes us strong

    Solidarity forever, solidarity forever

    Solidarity forever

    For the Union makes us strong ♪

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8f7a8f66586024bf25d8f23676adc97580950718494a4c7929bb39ce9f442f2a.jpg

  • bookish

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/02/donald_trump_is_our_c_student_in_chief.html?google_editors_picks=true

    Trump’s online embodiment isn’t just a bad website. It’s a microcosm of this administration’s laziness, sloppiness, and lack of imagination. This is Donald Trump’s life story: He helps himself to the fruits of other people’s labor, even as he denigrates those he’s cribbing from. As a businessman, he stiffed his contractors; NPR recently reported that three Washington-area companies are suing Trump International Hotel for more than $5 million in unpaid fees. The executive order draft that caused a stir last week when it appeared to revive Bush-era detention and interrogation policies almost exactly mirrors a campaign proposal from Mitt Romney’s camp. Sure, political documents often draw on language from past officeholders. But placed in the context of this president’s mulish mediocrity, the cloned order feels like yet another example of our C student in chief copying someone else’s homework.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Along those lines, I was as pleased as punch that some stuff I wrote up originally for a military exercise in 1986 was still being used as a template for similar circumstances years later.

    • How much did Fred Drumpf have to pay to get his dullard son a fucking C?

      • Stulexington

        Ha, like he actually paid up.

  • Jenny

    Silver lining: people are finally seeing what happens when you don’t vote progressive, in real time. Seriously the wingnut wet dream is here, and hey would you believe that all the nice things were because people on the left put them there?

    Who could ever know this?!?!?

    • snark-lurker

      you give the gop base credit for having a brain? they won’t ever know anthing rush or fox donut tell’em

    • SayItWithOtters

      They really are laying it right out on the table, aren’t they.

  • Asterix
  • moebym posted this
    • Villago Delenda Est

      Just a coinkydink, I’m sure.

      • Roadstergal

        Like the guy found dead in the back of the car.

        • cmd resistor

          He was also good friends with that guy who was shot/murdered in 2015.

    • Creepoman

      Livers tend to fail spontaneously when a bullet passes through them.

      • Roadstergal

        “Make this a thorough beating. We want to make sure every organ fails.”

    • cmd resistor

      So I read the BBC story linked in that one and they claim that in his earlier organ failure incident in 2015, it was determined that he had some anti-depressant in his system that might have built up, and/or a nasal spray issue. Sounds totally believable.

    • FlownOver

      Which organ filters out polonium, again?

      • laughingnome

        AOT/K

        • WomanInTheResistance

          For a very short period of time.

  • Roadstergal
  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    Yeah, RTW here in Nevada really has created a “free rider” problem. More people are not members of the unions than are, so the unions are underwater to the point where they can’t really hire anyone from the outside to serve as a negotiator or advocate. Plus the state passed a law in 2015 that unions either have to conduct union work after work hours or reimburse the employer for doing union business on work time.
    I keep hearing “Oh, but then individuals will be able to be free to bargain with their employer instead of a contract.” Right. Employers are going to individually bargain with hundreds of employees instead of saying “Here’s the offer. Take it or leave it.”: *rolls eyes*

  • Master Contrail Program

    Creating an angry, heavily armed, un or misinformed underclass is going to work out swimmingly for ________?

    The sad part is even if there are elections in four years, no matter how bad things get, 40-50,000,000 people will dutifully vote R.

    • FlownOver

      There may be some job creation at Amalgamated Tumbrel Inc.

  • Resistance Ftr PuckStopsHere

    This’ll bring them steel jobs back to PA and the coal diggin’ jobs back to W. VA for sure!

    • laughingnome

      Without health protections black lung will make a great comeback. Big league.

      • Roadstergal

        Early death means less unemployment!

      • FlownOver

        Black Lung and poisoned water will be in a race to take the miners out. At least the water will take the kids along.

  • Bill D. Burger

    Trump: To the steel workers and miners to whom he promised so much….and all on Day #1!
    The Chinese work for $5.00 a day, why the hell can’t you people? Make America great again!

    • chortlingdingo

      Meanwhile, housing costs will continue to rise so eventually, anyone making under $500K a year will be living on the streets.

      • FlownOver

        Under $500K? Takers.

  • Proud Liberal
  • Jenny

    Also too, I am sorry America decided it wanted to be like Texas. Texas has a 6 billion dollar deficit with very little social services to cut. The hole is from a tax cut to big business. Do the assholes in the capitol want to fix that? Nope, in fact big business needs more tax cuts.

    This Texan doesn’t want this in Texas, let alone the rest of the country. But stupid people have better things to do, like watch tv.

    • Master Contrail Program

      What’s The Matter With Kansas? Well, we have exciting news! We’ll no longer need to go to Kansas to find out!

      • Shan

        Kansas is tryna clean Beiwnback’s shit up already.

        • Master Contrail Program

          Just click your ruby senators together and say, “There’s no place like home.”

          • Shan

            A bunch of them got water tossed on them during the primaries, so there’s hope for 2018 yet.

          • WomanInTheResistance

            I hope so. For your sake.

        • FlownOver

          Edging (heh) closer to reversing a disastrous tax cut, increasing pressure to expand Medicaid. Baby steps, but at least pointing in the right direction. Don’t wait up for labor rights, though.

          • Shan

            Right!

            But what’s “heh” about edging closer?

    • Courser_Resistance

      In Colorado we have TaBOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights), which basically says the state can’t raise any taxes, ever, without the voters approval. Which is one reason why the legalization and taxation of cannabis was so attractive to voters. The ‘punative’ taxes appealed to the pious Co Spgs crowd and the rest of us were like, Hell yeah! Tax the crap out of it! We *want* to be taxpayers!

    • chortlingdingo

      From what I’ve heard, they’re trying to push school vouchers for charter schools again, probably so they can completely eliminate the public education budget and balance by making more tax cuts.

      • Jenny

        Yup, very few work and low and behold it will all collapse and suddenly all the same oversight will be back in the state hands. In the mean time there will be an uneducated, unemployed generation or two. But foresight isn’t as fun as profits.

    • Jamoche

      Mom and the RWNJ stepdad live in Texas. They came out here to CA to visit a month or so into Obama’s term, when the whole damn country sucked. RWNJSD pointed to vacant buildings and said it wouldn’t get better for 4 years – fuckhead.

      Well, 8 years later, California is booming; the only vacant building is in the mall that had Sears as an anchor in all senses of the word. Texas opted out of the recovery (something I used to use as a quip, but actual economists have said the same thing), so fuck them.

  • Bill D. Burger
    • Up In Smoke O’hontas

      And for all these reasons we must hit the streets, we must organize, we must deny this admin our consent!

  • Proud Liberal
    • UncleTravelingMatt

      There used to be a billboard facing the westbound lanes of I-90 between Coeur d’ Alene, ID and Spokane, WA that read: “If Right-to-Work Laws Are So Great, Why Do You Work In Washington?”

  • I miss being unionized. I keep thinking that I need to start an I.T. workers’ union.

  • Bill D. Burger

    Far too many people are so easily led and don’t realize that union members aren’t all overpaid, but, the complaining person_ it’s they themselves who are underpaid.

    • Roadstergal

      THIS.

    • Blacktop Autumn

      Fuck that, a lot of union members voted for these assholes.

      I’m a union member, and I hope this ravages the fuck out of the white working class at this point. I’m exasperated with listening to their crap.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        Sasly, too many union members let their bigotry, nativism and xenophobia overrule their common sense

        • Blacktop Autumn

          They installed big screens to watch the inauguration where my IBEW father works.

          He, at least, called it “fucking gross.”

          • suziq

            Electricians are a bit “different” though I am not sure why. That is definitely gross though.

      • Bill D. Burger

        Oh hell, I’m well aware that all union members aren’t saints and many voted for Trump. I’m fucking tired of some poorly paid non-union folk blasting ALL unions as though they were greed-filled gangs who should be eradicated once and for all, and doing it reflexively. The non union worker should be paid more, fight for more in most cases, not the union worker paid less or the union crushed.

  • Bill D. Burger
  • Anna Rompage

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” Steinbeck

  • Me The People

    Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch founded and led a student
    group called the ‘Fascism Forever Club’ at his elite high school,
    DailyMail.com can reveal.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/02/today-tomorrow-forever

    Another locker room joke, no doubt. I mean who among us hasn’t led a student group called “Fascism Forever” at some point.

    • WomanInTheResistance

      Hell. This is repulsive.

    • Jenny

      His rulings seem to suggest he is still the club president.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      The acorn didn’t fall far from the maternal tree…

  • bookish
  • Hutch

    We need to get this attitude back NOW!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3mw49mk_x0

  • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

    So getting rid of unions is good for the middle class how?

    • suziq

      More jobs! If one union worker costs you $40/hour and you get rid of the union you can hire 2 people and (potentially but probably not) get twice a much work done costing you $15/hour each. See, you saved yourself $10/hour and are getting twice as much work done. Twice as many people have jobs and that is good for everybody right? Right?

      • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

        That’s not middle class.

        • suziq

          Because companies have more money to create more jobs! That is totally the way it works! Because! It just does!
          Also I have been wondering if they even teach in school about how and why unions even started in this country because there are a lot of people that seem very unfamiliar with it.

      • Wrong, classic Friedmann bullshit it ignores:
        Training costs
        Supervision
        More industrial accidents
        Higher staff turnover
        Low moral = lower productivity
        Low moral = lower quality product
        More theft from company

        • suziq

          Just saying that is how they think. I had a union shop for 19 years, would not have it any other way. I believe in paying a good living wage because for my employees it was a career that they took pride in and we took pride in doing a good job for our customers.

          • Misunderstood your post editing mine to be less confrontational

          • suziq

            Did not take it to be confrontational (to me).
            We were signatory with Sheet Metal Workers which were one of the groups that met with Trump last week. Think I will email the union rep we used to deal with (have known him since he was an apprentice 30 years ago). He hates Trump but they are all about jobs no matter the cost to the environment etc which I do NOT agree with. Wondering if they were satisfied with the meeting or were thinking “what an asshole idiot” the whole time. And of course as a contractor I have a bit of an issue with owners who do not pay their contractors. One of the reasons we are no longer in business. Though we paid ALL our employees, subs, and suppliers even for the jobs we never got paid for. Because we have a conscience and standards.

      • OrdinaryJoe

        What is really happening is you hire an undocumented worker for $10 an hour and get three times the amount of production because they know you will call La Migra and get them deported if they make any problems and then you keep that other $30 an hour because you have to make payments on a bigger car. That’s what happens.

        • suziq

          Shhhh-you aren’t supposed to let anybody know.

  • beingreleased
  • OrG

    Seems like a good time for the Wobblies to make a comeback.

    • Meanie-meanie, tickle a person

      A Whig would help teh President*’s image…

  • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

    Standing on an Ikea (Swedish) podium, behind bullet proof Saint Gobain Glass (French), smiling at a 4K Sony (Japanese) Video camera, speaking into a Dolby Sennheiser (German) microphone, with vigorous hand gestures giving a glimpse of a Rolex (Swiss) under the cuff, Trump patriotically said … *”Buy American, Hire American, Stop Immigrants”.* while standing beside his Slovenian wife.

  • Hutch

    This may have already noted here, but someone on Twitter came up with “Lord Dampnut” as an anagram for “Donald Trump.” Perfect.

  • NastyBossetti
    • Tacoclamgenda

      Thanks.

  • Meanie-meanie, tickle a person

    making higher wages and receiving better benefits than their non-union peers.

    Were Trump’s Russian “wet work” hookers union peeers?

  • Roadstergal
  • suziq

    I did not see it mentioned below but unions can raise pay for non-union workers as well since the companies have to compete for workers.

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    Robyn, ask to Trix to organize Wonket under the WGA. It would be a good show of solidarity.

  • Ian

    I’m a millennial and I’m a manager. I take breaks and time off seriously for my staff. It’s okay I work through lunch and after work hours. It is NOT okay for my staff to do because it just isn’t. Don’t work for fucking free! When I was a non-manager, I peaced out exactly at 5pm.

    • WomanInTheResistance

      Good for you.

  • Shan

    Say, if they can pass a Federal law to make unions provide their services for free, why not do the same to Planned Parenthood? That’ll shut them down right quick!

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    OK, that’s today’s House postcard. Meantime, the tactic Robyn describes is # 2 here, but I’d say post this on your fridge and memorize it so you can recognize what they are doing to your brain, as they are doing it:

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-powerful-people-trick-you-into-hating-underdogs/

    IL-009: Schakowsky’s phones are FREE RIGHT NOW! woot! Got through right away and all three offices.

    • Roadstergal

      That is a great article. Stealing and reposting on my Facebook. And it’s from June 2015…!

  • Martini Ambassador

    Well, unions brought you those perks of entitlement like weekends, but that’s too taker-y for this brave, new world. In the future, only the C-level execs and POTUSes will get weekends off, and you’ll be happy about that, damnit, or the beatings will continue.

    • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

      Don’t forget the Soylent Corporation “furniture”.

    • WomanInTheResistance

      What are these “weekends” of which you speak?

      • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

        Those days where we cry into our pillows rather than at our desks?

    • ahughes798

      And paid Holidays, too. And double overtime if you are required to work on one of them. And child labour laws. All very, very taker-y.

    • Red Bird Resistance Engineer

      Hah! The bunch of entitled Trumpkins at my office were upset that the CEO wanted to cut their vacation and holidays. Their boss quit as a protest. The company cut their hours but they always manage to find a way to get the 40 they think they are owed. In a nutshell they are dumb.

    • Grumpy Twat

      I don’t know if you can access the BBC iPlayer in the USA, but if you watch a programme called, ‘Who Do You Think You Are’, where they investigate the ancestry of various celebs, you will find that it was one of Sir Ian McKellen’s great grandfathers who campaigned for the introduction of the half-day holiday in Manchester. From there it spread like wildfire.
      Gandalf, we need you now!

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08c7d9f/who-do-you-think-you-are-series-13-6-sir-ian-mckellen

  • Up In Smoke O’hontas

    Robyn, thank you for this epic throw down.

  • War drum are sounding louder
    https://twitter.com/AlexanderEmmons/status/827234544860401664

    The really big problem is that Trump has never looked at a map to see what a clusterfuck a land war in Iran would be. Where do you mass your forces? Iraq? Afghanistan? Tribal areas of Pakistan? May as well paint targets on the backs of US troops

    • Proud Liberal

      They are beating the drums of war already! I knew they would.

      • Mavenmaven

        Trump wants all that “support the troops” good will to be directed at him.

        • Rick Hill

          I think all the Women’s March good will will be directed at them instead

        • Jack

          Support our troops, Impeach Trump Today!

      • Roadstergal

        Oldest trick in the book. “We’re at war! Are you with us, or with our enemies?”

    • Red Bird Resistance Engineer

      How else do they “take their oil”?

      • Dazza

        Precisely.

  • Proud Liberal
    • Anna Rompage

      How come in just about every picture you see of conservatives, there’s only white people in them?

      • Proud Liberal

        They only care about white people.

      • WomanInTheResistance

        Asked and answered.

  • Anna Rompage

    A bit OT

    Kurt doesn’t suck!

    Neil Gorsuch Is Supremely Qualified, and Must Not Be Confirmed

    http://europe.newsweek.com/why-neil-gorsuch-must-not-be-confirmed-supreme-court-eichenwald-551429

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      throw him on the same pyre the GOP tossed Garland

  • Abby Normal

    I’m married to a union plumber. He did his best to convince his brothers that Trump would be looking to get rid of the union workers. They didn’t believe him.

    These morons think they are all getting high paying jobs on the pipeline, and they’ll be farting through silk!

    • Proud Liberal

      The pipeline will create 35 permanent jobs. Stupid dumb fucks!

      • Roadstergal

        You’re forgetting all of the cleanup jobs!

        • WomanInTheResistance

          Like the Republicans ever clean up after themselves.

        • Anna Rompage

          They’ll hire migrant workers for those duties….

  • azeyote

    with the unions the middle class came to be – without the unions the middle class will go – corporations love a two class system – that’s why they ship jobs to those kind of countries and they won’t bring them back until the minimum wage is history – right to work is just the prelude –

  • Mavenmaven

    These Trump pals want 10 hour shifts and child labor back again, as long as they can keep making more money. Welcome back to the world of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company.

    • Keith Taylor

      And the world of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. I can’t see the Republicans caring how many of those happen. Or how many miners die of back lung and cave-ins in the coal industry they want to save from being threatened by renewable energy. Safety Regulations? Pffft! Entitled snowflake! Working stiffs used to be real men (and women, but that’s a politically correct faggot thing to say).
      Yeah, Trump and Bannon and Pence, and they used to fight bastards like you. Hard.

  • Pazuzu75

    “To boot, they also create a class of “free riders” — because although people can choose not to join a union and pay dues, the union still has to represent them and their interests”

    Besides showing how much conservatives hate workers, these laws also show their amazing hypocrisy. I’d love to know how conservatives can rationalize thinking that a bakery getting paid to bake a cake for someone they don’t like is a horrible violation of freedom but forcing a union to provide a service for free is a-ok.

  • Debra Dassow

    Wisconsin in 2011 was the parakeet in the coal mine,on labor union destruction and no one freaking cared. Welcome to my world, US of A. Thanks for putting this lunatic in the White House.

    • Rick Hill

      The same way that, now, people are willing to say “Just give him a chance.” without realizing he is destroying everything he touches with each passing day. Things which, even if they are rebuilt, will never be the same again.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      My fear level has been at max since then. I didn’t see how so many people could go against their interests as they did in Wisconsin. The parakeet died and nobody noticed.

  • Skadi
  • SayItWithOtters

    Still wondering when all these God-fearing right wing populists are going to figure out that they’re not getting any actual populism. You can’t eat racist redistricting laws or shuttered Planned Parenthoods.

  • Jack

    What about an Equal Work for Equal Pay law? Congress critters get paid about $83.65 an hour so why not put them on the timeclock? Time Clocks in Congress and only National Holidays off? Obamacare for them too, or TrumpCare if they wish, and pass the ‘reform’? Oh and they don’t actually get paid until the budget and Tax reform to finish of the National Debt is passed, every fucking year, no continuing resolutions would count of course.
    Can I get an Amen on that?

  • Rick Hill

    Not to mention that, like slavery, having lower paid workers makes the entire economy worse. Why pay a living wage when there’s someone else willing to do the same thing for a song?

  • amb310

    I was just thinking about the Bread and Roses strike the other day…

    I have to be honest. I don’t know how We (the Royal We) are going to survive Modern ‘Murica. The problems seem impossible to overcome. Many of the people that are suffering the most are the ones fighting so hard against any thing that would help.

    Maybe it’s the last couple weeks wearing on me, but it’s getting hard to see any way out that isn’t ending in some sort of major crisis that will probably hurt a lot of people.

    Is it gin o’ clock yet?

    • natoslug

      Have you learned nothing from Dame Peggy Noonington-hic? Of course it’s gin o’clock! It’s always gin o’ clock!

      • amb310

        Good point. I’ll have the help fetch me another bottle.

  • Red Bird Resistance Engineer

    True. But as many have pointed before, it is not that they are poor but thT they are not AS poor as the next guy.

  • Iron Monkey

    Great post, Robyn–GREAT fucking post.

    Unfortunately these assholes have stolen a march on us again. A combination of state level gerrymandering, term limits (nobody knows nothing in the legislature since they all just got there) and American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) writing bills allowed the Repubs to get a majority in the state legislature. During a lame duck session a couple of years ago they passed RTW legislation and got it signed by the idiot governor who was on record as thinking it was a bad idea, but what the hell…

    This is in Michigan–UAW local 600–Ford Rouge Plant which can be seen in Diego Rivera’ mural, sit down strikes, battle of the overpass, Walter Reuther, IBT local 299, blah, blah, blah, etc. etc.

    If workers in Michigan, the center for organized industrial unionism can be forced to work under RTW it can happen anywhere–or at least where we drop are guard and get slugged by the right wing.

    None of this is new–the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, Associated Builders and Contractors have been at this for a century or more.

    I am as pessimistic about this as I am about everything else since the President left office and the usurper turned up but continue to keep Samuel Beckett in mind: “I can’t go on, I’ll go on.” Those barricades won’t man themselves.

  • Leftside Annie

    <— A union member. Goddamn right.

  • OrdinaryJoe

    To the union leaders who think they can get something out of *trump by cozying up to him at White Man’s House photo ops, how many union air traffic controllers have you met in the last 30 years?

  • Nodrama4mama

    AMEN! Robyn! It’s amazing how many people don’t get this. I worked for an employer for a union and non-union workplace and I can tell you who was treated better. The non-union people usually got just enough of the crumbs so they wouldn’t try and organize for themselves.

  • whitroth

    Now you’ve gotten me started…. I’m a computer professional. I *can’t* join a union, because I get listed as “management”, and the FLRB rules were written by the business groups, and make it insanely difficult.

    And listen up, Wonketteers: all the bs. that companies and the Grand Fascist Party go on about how unions have such power?

    FACT: about four years ago, I got curious, and went to the irs.gov website, then spoke with a very nice lady there. Here are the actual fucking numbers: Note that not all “labor organizations” are unions.
    There are about 6600 “labor organizations” in the US.
    Their TOTAL GROSS WORTH, including pension funds, union halls, strike funds, etc… is about $28B.

    Let that sink in. Then remind me again how much *cash* *on* *hand* one multinational has, like, say, Apple with what, $78B CASH? In other words, Apple, alone, could *buy* them all. Oh, the business community is *so* hurt by unions….

    Paging Mssr Guillotine….

  • TJ Barke

    Praise boss when morning workbells chime
    Praise him for bits of overtime
    Praise him who’s wars we love to fight
    Praise him fat leech and parasite

  • pstockholm

    That was … angelic.

  • Meccalopolis

    There once was a union maid, she never was afraid
    Of goons and ginks and company finks and the deputy sheriffs who made the raid.
    She went to the union hall when a meeting it was called,
    And when the Legion boys come ’round
    She always stood her ground.

    Oh, you can’t scare me, I’m sticking to the union,
    I’m sticking to the union, I’m sticking to the union.
    Oh, you can’t scare me, I’m sticking to the union,
    I’m sticking to the union ’til the day I die.

    This union maid was wise to the tricks of company spies,
    She couldn’t be fooled by a company stool, she’d always organize the guys.
    She always got her way when she struck for better pay.
    She’d show her card to the National Guard
    And this is what she’d say

    You gals who want to be free, just take a tip from me;
    Get you a man who’s a union man and join the ladies’ auxiliary.
    Married life ain’t hard when you got a union card,
    A union man has a happy life when he’s got a union wife.

    • eka

      i remember hearing a story told by arlo about woody guthrie being asked by the ladies’ auxiliary of a union to write a song for them and he said, well i already did it’s called union maid. And they said well it doesn’t MENTION the ladies’ auxiliary

      so he wrote

      oh the ladies auxiliary
      it’s a good auxiliary
      bout the best auxiliary

      that you ever did see
      so if you need an auxiliary
      try the ladies’ auxiliary
      that’s the ladies’ auxiliary

    • Sophie McMillan

      I grew up in the UK singing a version of this song called Part of the Union by the Strawbs. Slightly different words but just reading this has me singing it.

  • Jeff Ackerman

    Excellent post. I’ve worked union since 1975, I’m retired now. I was the “goon” from the union for a lot of years, I organized for 10 years, and ended up the President of the union I belong to. I also ended up on the unions pension, health & welfare, and training trusts. I also chaired our PAC, every year we fought erosion of wage and hour laws and right to work legislation. Business and Republicans are relentless, they will never give up. Right to work will pass. Unions will continue to decline. Pay will stagnate even further. Benefits will slowly become self funded. Retirement plans are disappearing. Fear and ignorance will allow this to happen. The average worker in America identifies more with their employer than the Union that represents them. People will have to lose almost everything before they are willing to fight. Credit has been their undoing, we may not owe the company store, buy they owe, so off to work they must go… Never give up.

    • Robyn Pennacchia

      THANK YOU.

    • Amalga

      Don’t give up, Jeff. Don’t give up. I know I won’t.

      • Jeff Ackerman

        I never give up, but I do need an occasional nap now

  • The other evil lurking in the RTW laws is that it allows employers to terminate an employee at will without cause.

    • like say when they reach the 18th year of their pension, so look at the savings, not having to pay that!

  • Bitter Scribe

    A union is what allowed my father, an autoworker, to send me and my sister to expensive private colleges and expand our home so it could comfortably house five people. When he was laid off through no fault of his own, he got 80 percent of his salary.

    I got thrown out of work just before Christmas (ho, ho, ho, clear out your desk). When I mentioned to my sister that I’d be collecting unemployment and told her the amount, she said, “What? That’s all? Aren’t you supposed to get 80 percent?”

    I just laughed and said “Those days are over, honey.”

  • This is beautiful, Robyn. Thank you

  • Paperless Tiger

    The rise of the unions was the rise of the middle class. The decline of the unions was the decline of the middle class. The other effect of decline is to remove the possibility of a national strike, which might have been an effective antidote to the current crisis, which is starting to smell like a fascist dictatorship. The Trump phenomenon may not be as spontaneous as it looks.

  • Roadstergal
  • Alan

    I think you should turn that paper in for a grade.

  • Dazza

    Thank you, Robin – from the bottom of my working-class, union organiser heart. <3

  • Sunnyinwyoming

    I think this might be the single best article that I have ever read.

    • FukuiSanYesOta

      Robyn is righteous when she’s like this. Love it.

  • Daniel Hooper

    I’m glad I’m in a union, though given the results of their negotiations I wish they had a little more teeth. Still, this article brings me back to my co-worker.
    She loves the union; thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. She also thinks the union is going to save her from every little thing; poor work performance, getting into arguments with customers, getting into fights with her co-workers; everything. Even so much as a suggestion to a problem she’s having will trigger a union call about how she’s being discriminated against for her age/gender/whatever she feels like that day. She just doesn’t get that’s not what the union’s for, and that it’s a huge waste of time for everyone involved.
    And yes, she’s a Trump supporter who thinks he’s going to make her rich. Welcome to my work day…

    • FukuiSanYesOta

      “And yes, she’s a Trump supporter who thinks he’s going to make her rich.”

      I was simply rolling my eyes until that point, then raged out.

    • mfp

      hmmm…wow…sounds like an intervention is in order

    • Grumpy Twat

      I was a shop steward in a previous job. People like the one you mention are a real ball-ache. Colleagues who wouldn’t have lifted a finger to help anyone else thought it was the union’s role to protect them from the consequences of their own selfish fucking attitudes and behaviours.
      Between them on one side and openly lying management on the other I was heartily glad to move on.

  • Lefty Wright

    Although not a union case, the GOP wants to return us and the Supreme Court to 1905 and the Lochner v. New York case that said a New York law limiting bakers to a 10 hour day and 60 hour week was an unconstitutional restriction on the workers’ rights to contract. As if a non-union worker had any rights then. Get ready for more efforts to allow unpaid overtime, increases in unpaid on call hours and other measures to cut workers pay.

  • Keith Taylor

    Robyn Pennacchia is a glorious human being. And she’s right. Playing off one group of the downtrodden against another is among the oldest scummy tricks in the Tyrants’ and Exploiters’ Handbook. The rulers of ancient Sparta probably knew all about it, and played off their helots against their perioeci. In the Old South “poor white” was a more scathing term of contempt than the n-word. The blacks in the cotton fields used it, while the whites ate river clay to fill their groaning bellies and hated the blacks, and the plantation owners got richer. The Republicans will bring those days back if they can — or anyway the days in which the Pinkertons broke strikes with clubs and firearms and the Molly Maguires swung from gibbets.

    • mfp

      upfisted for the first two sentences…but i kept reading and upfisting also, too

  • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba
  • doggiedaddy

    And the fucks who voted for trump still think he’ll bring back jobs and high paying ones at that.
    The man who didn’t pay his bill, hates unions and doesn’t even believe in minimum wage is going to boost the economy and…..

    No Child Left Behind worked out well for the gop didn’t it.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3bdef70fd25d1d396086bbd8e51d1887be6bb0b9266649de26ad9dc6ce758b4b.jpg

    • CriticalDragon1177

      The Truth of the matter is, this is just Trump being a modern day Republican, siding with the wealthy over the workers. He’d be doing this with or without Putin.

      • H0mer0

        “With or without Pu”
        that’s catchy but would it be copyright infringement or fair use (since satire?)

  • unionthuggery

    Robyn, thank you for this.

  • unionthuggery

    I work in multiple capacities for my union, and was a local president for some time. I also edit a newsletter. It’s hard to see so many people dependent on the union for their good wages and benefits vote and support a party whose policies seek to take that away from them.

    • H0mer0

      would it be funny if I noncommented that your opinions were interesting and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter?
      (daughter of a union steward)

  • Zyxomma

    One of the great regrets of my life is that I’ve never had a job that permitted me to join a union. Most of my clothes are vintage, and old enough that they were made by ILGWU workers. Solidarity Forever!

    • mfp

      the first union i joined–at 17yrs old–was the local musicians union…i paid dues for about five years or so, and then i stopped getting mail and renewal notices from them, i just assumed that the union had disbanded or been sent to the gulag, i never did know for sure…it had become the reagan years, so…who knows…but yeah, Solidarnosc

  • CriticalDragon1177

    This is just Trump “making America Great again” like it was back in days of sweatshops and child labor!

  • mfp

    reading and re-reading this glorious and inspiring piece…and the comments…it jarred a memory, of something that occurred in most of us wonky-woos lifetimes…what was it…hmmmm it had to do with the last time the anti-human cartel was busted for the criminals that they were/are….something something solidanosc something no wall something making the world wake up something….it started with a union movement…it’s time for the american solidanosc

  • redblack

    thank you, robyn. awesome post.

    the two asshats who are putting this bill forward are from states with piss-poor wages and union representation. and i’m sick of the argument that unions are some sort of socialist counterweight to corporate money and power and are, therefore, just as craven and corrupt.

    we don’t even have a fraction of the power and influence that big money and big oil have. our numbers decline yearly.

    and they’re trying to defeat us with our own pension funds in their war chest.

  • Amalga

    Thank you, Robyn, for this. I believe in organized labor with all my heart having spent 28 years of my working life in jobs where I was represented and 20 where I was not. Union is way mo’ bettah!!

  • Keith Taylor

    I haven’t been sure where to post this, but Robyn’s article on trade unions which I admired so greatly at the time seems the most fitting. Because a current headline shouts “Islamophobic SAUDI ARABIA Deports 40,000 Muslim Pakistanis, Citing Terrorism Concerns” and Trump supporters appear to be pounding their chests and voicing the terrible challenge of the great bull ape because of it. They are calling leftists hypocrites (oh, the projection!) and asking why the lefties don’t call out Saudi Arabia on this action when they’re so furious about Trump barring travel from Islamic countries, and so forth.
    Here’s my opinion, and I admit my knowledge is incomplete and my opinion is highly opinionated. But just the same. Saudi Arabia is ruled by the extensive and rotten rich from oil dollars Saudi royal family. For decades I have known, and so have most people who’ve even heard of Saudi Arabia, that the Saudis have literally millions of foreign workers in their country, from other countries, poor ones, like Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as western engineers and other technicians, all of whom they treat like garbage. Any time at all something unpleasant happens in Saudi Arabia, no matter who did it, they scapegoat the foreign workers. As with terrorist activity. The country’s most notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden of September 11th, Twin Towers infamy, now gone to the arms of Shaitan, belonged to the huge construction company bin Laden family. One of his bitches with the Saudi royals was that they had bilked the bin Ladens out of their fees for rebuilding Mecca. He regarded them as false Muslims, also, for letting U.S. troops ever put their loathsome infidel feet on the sacred soil of Arabia, and for other reasons.
    Actually I agree with Osama bin Laden, long may he rot, on that point. I also consider the Saudi royals are not true Muslims, or true anything, really, except a truly useless clique of pampered corrupt parasites. But getting back to the point, the bin Ladens are gigantic magnates in the construction business, and the foreign workers like the Pakistanis are largely employed, at crummy disgusting wages, in the construction business in Saudi Arabia. For the bin Ladens and others. Conditions are hard and dangerous and the pay has a lot in common with untreated sewage. But at present the international prices of crude oil are low (for once not deliberately caused by the Saudis themselves dumping crude on the market to punish those who bust their OPEC quotas, which is pretty widely known to be economic suicide), there’s unrest and agitation by foreign workers in Arabia, and so massive deportation, with suspicion of terrorist activity as the pretext, becomes a great way to avoid paying these agitating workers the wages they are owed — which were a ripoff and a disgrace anyway.
    Pan the camera to Donald Trump, smirking and saying, “Hey, that’s a GOOD idea!”
    He ran on the platform of building a wall (shonky gigantic construction project with rumours rife at the moment that shonky Mexican companies will be glad to build it for him, and heaven forbid that I should even suggest there may be payoffs and kickbacks and even bribes involved) and deporting all those illegal Mexican immigrants who have been employed at sweated wages in the U.S.A.
    But once he deports them, who’ll work at sweated wages and serve as a vast desperate pool of cheap labour with no hopes of ever climbing out of the mud?
    My guess? (Not exactly a brilliant deduction or a subtle one.) The very people who voted for Trump. If he and his Republican cronies (or puppet masters) succeed in smashing unions as they so greatly desire, and abolishing a minimum wage in the guise of “freedom to work”.
    I’m not a Muslim, any more than I’m a Christian. Well, not since I was fourteen or fifteen anyhow. But Allah the Merciful be my witness. Shaitan is waiting for Donald Trump as once he waited for Osama bin Laden.

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