How to make America great again

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There is only one way to make America great again, and that is to strengthen Unions and support the workers they fight for.

The United States was at its most prosperous when Unions protected the hours, wages, and conditions of employment of their members, something that bothered corporations who wanted to be able to exploit workers for corporate profit by having a subtle form of slavery where workers made huge profits for corporations but would not be allowed to benefit from their own hard work.

That is why the latest attempt to kill Unions is merely management’s way of trying to take back many of the benefits that have been won over the years so that workers could be pushed around like in the old days.

Remember Unions did not come first. They came as the result of the abuse of workers by management, abuse that will return if management could only kill off Unions.

There may be those of limited view who claim they work in places  with benefits so good they obviously do not need a Union, but they do not realize that those benefits are not gifts, but were won through the hard work of those who went before them, or, may, as I did my first teaching job at a private school, have benefits comparable to those of Union workplaces in order for those who ran the school to keep the Unions out.

At that school, as the local teachers Union got improved benefits, ours also improved, maybe not as much, but more than they had been, and more than they would have otherwise.

As the local Union negotiated planning time increases, a cap on supervision time, a good retirement program, and decent health coverage, we benefited. The only thing we never got was due process that put the burden for dismissing a teacher on the administration to prove incompetence or insubordination, and it is this employed at will condition that management wants every worker subjected to when they push “right to work”, which is actually “management can fire at whim”.

My employment ended there when the principal found a priest who would not need a living wage, and even though my performance was always above satisfactory, I was replaced.

Over the past few years, right-wing legislators have proposed legislation designed to destroy collective bargaining rights and attack the middle class.

Young people decry wage inequality, but what they fail to see is that this inequality became pronounced as states began to pass “Right to Work” laws, and young workers entering the work force just assumed good working conditions were just the way it is, and by not joining Unions and standing unified and strong, they let conditions slide.

Point of fact, since the hours, wages, and conditions bargained for by Unions apply to all their members, gender is not a factor.

Union members are treated equally in collective bargaining agreements, and when those are taken away, or allowed to be weakened, management can introduce inequality.

Why is there wage inequality? Because those who should have prevented it abandoned their own self-interest, bought the Unions are bad trope, and allowed it to happen.

While Conservatives have sought to influence people to turn away from Unions because they claim Unions only look out for themselves, they have managed to get people to forget that Unions are their members, the workers. Disparage Unions, and you disparage workers.

Here’s what Unions have gotten for workers either by collective bargaining, or because corporations, in order to keep Unions out, have given to their employees to a greater of lesser degree:

  1. All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
  2. Paid vacation
  3. Family & Medical Leave Act
  4. Sick leave
  5. Minimum wage
  6. Prohibitions against employer discrimination
  7. 8-hour work day
  8. Overtime pay
  9. Child labor laws
  10. Occupational Safety & Health Act
  11. 40-hour work week
  12. Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)
  13. Unemployment insurance
  14. Pensions
  15. Workplace safety standards and regulations
  16. Employer health care insurance
  17. Collective bargaining rights for employees
  18. Wrongful termination laws
  19. Age Discrimination in Employment
  20. Whistleblower protection laws
  21. Veteran’s Employment and Training Services
  22. Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises)
  23. Sexual harassment laws
  24. Americans With Disabilities Act
  25. Holiday pay
  26. Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
  27. Privacy rights
  28. Pregnancy and parental leave
  29. Military leave
  30. The right to strike
  31. Public education for children
  32. The requirement that employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
  33. Laws ending sweatshops in the United States

If you want America to be great again, support Unions and support the workers who are the Middle Class.

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