From Media Matters for America
Fox News figures have attacked labor unions in the days leading up to Labor Day, a national holiday originally created to honor the victories of the labor movement and the achievements of American workers.
Beck: “I think the unions are like Biff,” the bully from Back to the Future. During the September 2 edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck said, “You know what I think of some of the unions? I actually think of Back to the Future. I think the unions are like Biff.” Beck showed a clip featuring Biff Tannen, the bully in the film, and added, “But in the end, once you really realize who they are and you’re not afraid anymore, it always turns out exactly the same way for the bully every time.” Beck then showed a clip of Biff working for the man he originally bullied.
Malkin accused unions of embezzlement, violence, and corruption. During the September 2 edition of Fox News’ America Live, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin accused labor leaders of “embezzlement,” “violence,” and “corruption.”
Varney: There will be “[t]wo more union outrage stories to bring to you in our next half-hour.” During the September 2 edition of Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co., guest Joseph Caruso criticized a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would allow more shareholders of public companies to use proxy votes to nominate board members. Caruso claimed that unions would use the rule to “wreak havoc” by nominating labor-friendly board members. In response, Fox Business’ Charles Payne suggested, “So, this will be used more as a tool of intimidation than anything else.” In a subsequent tease, Varney said, “Two more union outrage stories to bring to you in our next half-hour.”
Cavuto likened unions to Hurricane Earl on a “collision course on our towns.” During the September 2 edition of Fox News’ Your World, host Neil Cavuto compared unions to Hurricane Earl, saying, “The monster and the mess. Your World on top of Earl’s collision course with our coast and what could be unions’ collision course with our towns.” Cavuto added: “And get ready for Earl’s wallop and, to hear some state and local governments tell it, unions’ direct hit on their wallet.”
Carlson: How much of the cost of a Chevy Volt is “because you have to pay the unions so much money?” During a discussion of the Chevy Volt on the September 2 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson asked, “How much of that money … is because you have to pay the unions so much money?”
Beck: Labor hero is “indoctrinating children.” During the September 1 edition of his Fox News show, Beck accused Dolores Huerta, an 80-year-old labor activist who co-founded the United Farm Workers with César Chávez, of “indoctrinating our children” because she spoke at a high school. Beck also criticized the Labor Department for spending money on what he called a “catchy tune” that included Labor Secretary Hilda Solis saying, “You work hard, and you have the right to be paid fairly,” and, “[I]t is a serious problem when workers in this country are not being paid every cent they earn.”
DOL: Labor Day is “a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s “History of Labor Day,” Labor Day “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
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My grand parents on my father’s side came here from Poland. At Ellis Island they got a different name. From Ellis Island they were taken to the iron mines of a company town called Mineville with company housing and a company store. They were paid in company money called script good only for that company house and the company stores. They were illiterate and the doctor who delivered my father spelled his name differently from the rest of his brothers and sisters. My grandfather died of miner’s lung.
My other grandmother worked as a seamstress in the clothing and textile factories.
After my father came home from WW II he got a union job as a welder. He was a member of the United Steel Workers Union. Good pay, good benefits and a pension for hard body breaking work.
I grew up in a union house and learned early on that only the lowest forms of life cross workers picket lines. Rats, louses and scabs…
I am working class and proud. I believe every worker should belong to a union and that unions should be able to break a corporation as easily as the corporations now break unions.
Therefore imagine my utter shock and disgust when I read the following from The Washington Blade: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2010/09/01/gay-journalists-to-face-union-picket-line/
Lou Chibbaro Jr. | Sep 01, 2010
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association has declined a request to withdraw its annual convention from San Francisco’s Hyatt Regency Hotel this weekend in connection with a labor union boycott of the hotel.
In a statement posted on its website, NLGJA officials said a cancellation of its contract with the hotel, which was signed three years ago, would result in a $150,000 penalty that could bankrupt the group.
The San Francisco chapter of Pride at Work, an LGBT labor group affiliated with the AFL-CIO, joined the city’s hotel workers union, Unite Here! Local 2, in calling on NLGJA to honor the union-initiated boycott of the Hyatt in an effort to win a long-delayed union contract for hotel employees.
“Although NLGJA understands the importance of collective bargaining and recognizes that worker actions are not to be blithely ignored, it is simply impossible at this late date for us to move this year’s convention to another hotel,” NLGJA President David Steinberg said in a statement.
“NLGJA was contacted by organizers from Unite Here! Local 2 in June, and we have had conversations with them for more than a month,” the statement says.
About 225 people were expected to attend the NLGJA convention, which was scheduled to take place at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco’s Embarcadero waterfront district Sept. 2-5, according to NLGJA executive director Michael Tune.
Israel Alvaran, community outreach organizer for Unite Here! Local 2 and a member of Pride at Work said NLGJA would likely be faced with some added expenses for moving its convention to another hotel. But he said the union would have intervened to help NLGJA challenge a penalty fee from the Hyatt on grounds that the hotel most likely did not inform NLGJA of labor disputes and the possibility of a hotel boycott at the time the gay journalists group signed its contract with the hotel.
He noted that hotel labor disputes have been taking place in San Francisco for the past four years or longer.
“We’re disappointed that it never got to that point,” Alvaran said. “They never took the first step to look into moving the meeting.”
Read entire article complete with rationalizations on the part of this Gay and Lesbian Journalists organization as to why they won’t honor the picket line at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2010/09/01/gay-journalists-to-face-union-picket-line/
Today when I listen to so many people who transition in middle age I am struck how many have class privilege. They have professions and degrees, economic security that so many of us who were runaways or throwaways, people of color who grew up poor will never have.
I listen to those who carry on about ENDA, which for them means keeping that professional job. But ENDA doesn’t mean so much when the jobs available to members of your class are part of the new servant economy. When you are a barista with a degree.
For some of us the Employee’s Free Choice Act, benefits that include part time and contract/temp worker as well as issues like a “Living Wage” mean as much or more than things like ENDA. Big fucking deal if you get a job where you aren’t discriminated against if you can’t afford to keep a roof over your head, eat, dress well enough to meet the dress code. And I might add have enough left to enjoy living if only a little.
When the Textile workers in Lowell, Mass. went out on strike in the early 20th Century they demanded not just bread but roses too.
The LGBT/TQ movements owe much to the idea of Unions. Harry Hay was a union organizer and many of us who have fought long and hard for LGBT/TQ rights are the children of union parents.