Recently Fox News was at it again talking about how unions create problems for American businesses and, in particular, how unions are destroying the American economy.
Now let’s contrast this with some reality...
One of our writers here at LA Labor 411 spent a summer working in an elastomeric roof coating factory in Twinsburg, Ohio. Though he was hired as a temporary worker, it was a union factory. His job, like for many people in the factory, was to pick up a 45 pound container off the line and stack it on a palette six feet away every four seconds… for eight hours a day... in a factory that was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 85% humidity and filled with chemical vapors... each day... every day.
Now that’s real work.
The group of people he worked with were good, solid people who had a sense of camaraderie that came out of their shared union membership and commitment to safety. Because this was a union plant, these hard working Americans had enough money to build some semblance of a life outside of the factory. They were able to have health care and some of them were saving up money to make a down-payment on a fixer-upper for them, their wives and their newborn children. They were able to provide and be provided for because they worked their asses off to keep their company productive.
They told this same writer that another competing company had a similar factory in Las Vegas, Nevada that was not union. The workers there made barely over minimum wage and had very limited health care… but the work was the same... in the Las Vegas heat. These workers in Las Vegas did real work, back-breaking work, to make their company profitable, but what did they get for it? Slave wages. Not enough to invest in themselves and their families, just enough to survive and certainly not enough to be independent. How is that fair? How is that okay? The truth is that those union members in Twinsburg, Ohio earned just enough to still have access to the American Dream and still invest in their communities… and an investment in one’s community is an investment in the American economy.
While those non-union members had just enough money to invest in their own survival and little else. So, when people in the detached Conservative media who have never worked a real day in their lives begin to complain that unions are “taking too much” and are “destroying America,” recognize that these same people need to take a good hard look at themselves because they are attacking the same groups that are keeping the American Dream alive for the most vulnerable members of our society… and that is truly patriotic. That is truly American.
Keep in mind when you buy a union-made product what you are doing is voting for that plant in Twinsburg, Ohio. You are creating work for those hard working Americans who deserve through their commitment and work ethic to have a share of the American Dream.
When you buy a non-union product, you are doing the exact opposite. You are voting for that factory in Las Vegas where workers toil their lives away with nothing to show for it except a desperate life of poverty and little else.
How you spend your money matters. Never forget that. Change starts with you. Buy union!