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Politics /23 Jul 2011
07.23.11

Give Unions their Fair Dues

Economic matters are important, but gross national product “does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud to be Americans.” – Robert Kennedy

It’s mind-boggling that recessions, while being an inevitable process (an important one at that) in our economic chain-link, still bring us great cause for fearing our future well-being. And here we are in the 21st century and still most people are baffled as to how to best deal with the challenges that recessions impose upon our otherwise routine lifestyles.

This present recession, that is uncharacteristically dragging it’s heels on us, and is stubbornly not letting us see the light of day, is a stark reminder to Governments everywhere, that we need to do more to prepare for future economic downturns. The fact that recessions are a pivotal essential, in keeping with the true order of balance, get’s smacked in the face every time, by this overall human desire to favor greed over stability.

Recessions give most us cause to place that proverbial mirror in front of ourselves and what we find there, looking back at us, we don’t like. Most of us are not always ready to blame ourselves for not looking so righteous, so we tend to look elsewhere – anywhere, or anyone that we can shackle our own guilt to. There are of course, those amongst us who prepare themselves and who eagerly wait for recession time’s to roll around. These are people, that while their motives might not always be noble, still a great deal can be learned from them, if the rest of us are willing to take a leaf or two out of their textbook of practical survival.

It’s important here that I state – I am a proud union member and it’s even more important that I let you know – I believe wholeheartedly in the establishment of unions and I believe that an America without unions, will be the end of the American dream for many amongst our future generations. Unions, I believe are a ceiling afforded to the rights of workers and without unions in the workplace, many Americans will wake up each morning and there will be no real incentive for them to go to the workplace. Unions don’t just provide for their members present state of living. Unions provide their members with the comfort of knowing that their future too is a place that all of us can look forward to – especially in our retirement years – when we need to have that comfort most.

For nearly four decades now, American labor unions – both public and private, get the blunt of the blame for causing State coffers to buckle under the strain of need (or should that be greed?). It seems, that the longer this present recession goes on, the more time it is giving politicians and non-unionized Americans to scrutinize union behavior and what they are seeing (or what they are choosing to see) is causing union members all over this country, to fear, like never before, for the future of their well being.

Union members, and especially union leaders and organizers are hoping that all of this playing host to the blame game will quickly disappear once the economic recovery finds it’s legs and the unemployment number will be drastically reduced from it’s present level of 9.2 percent. But there are those within union circles (many members in fact ) that believe, unions, as they are patterned right now are on a downward path to a destiny that is not going to be good for the union worker.

Most unions have already made concessions and more unfavorable cutbacks are still on the table. It’s not clear how much (for now) that unions are expected to give up, in earnest but there is one message ringing loud and clear throughout this recession and that message has let every union member in America know that it’s just not enough for a union worker in today’s America to enjoy the comforts of being a union employee – They must fight for that right – fight like their very lives depends on it.

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