Progressive Heroes: The Wobblies

I have never been a member of any union. I know people that worker for unions that took the workers dues and did absolutely nothing for the workers paying the dues. I know people who are losing their jobs at Northwest because of the changing environment of the airline industry and the corporate mismanagment and profiteering of a handful of very sucessful "free-market capitalists." I know people who work long, hard, stressful hours to win better working conditions, living wages and the basic benefits that should be a baseline for everyone in the US.

No I never belonged to a union, but I understand the importance they played in getting many of the workplace benefits we take fro granted everyday. Taking these benefits for grant is a dangerous thing -- wages are being cut, hours increased, overtime rules loosened, health care reduced, presions eliminated, etc. My blog neighbors over at www.ontheborderline.net will give a big arm pump with a long "Yes!" after reading each of those points of workplace loss. Understand the history of them that brung us to the dance and keep fighting to maintain and improve the workplace.

The Wobblies were a labor movement that envisioned one big worldwide union that traced its multi-tendril history back to a "Continental Congress of the Working Class" that was held in Chicago in June 1905. Big Bill Hayward, who managed to focus the disputatious convention, declared its manifesto that "the employing class and the working class have nothing in common."
Don't forget, the Wobblies and other union workers fought and died for you eight hour days, 40 hour work weeks, etc.

Below is a quote from an editorial written nealry 100 years ago. It sounds like some you might hear today from the likes of Ann Clouter, Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly. Have times really changed? Do you really want to let the reactionary regressives who spew out the unenlightened myths and slander that drool from the likes of www.ontheborderline.net to turn the hands of time back 100 years?

"Hanging is none too good for them, and they would be much better off dead. They are absolutely useless in the human economy. They are the waste material of creation, and should be drained off in the sewer of oblivion to rot like any other excrement." -- The San Diego Union

Check out these links on the Wobblies and the IWW: link #1 and Link #2

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