This Labor Day Mitt Romney wants you to know that if elected President, he will target and limit the influence of organized labor at the state and federal level. Mitt states that he intends to ‘level’ the playing field; when it comes to the awarding of government underwritten service and construction contracts.
As stated in Mitt Romney’s 5 point plan: Mitt believes that organized labor is a detriment to the expansion and preservation of business in the United States. Furthermore, he states that organized labor is a hindrance to corporations wishing to bring manufacturing jobs back to North America.
What Mitt isn’t telling you, is that organized labor is not exclusive to blue collar workers. Organized labor or laws implemented and enforced through regulations born of the labor movement; touch on the lives of all people working in the United States.
Romney is convinced that union labor adds to the cost of doing business in America.
At the same time, Mitt tells the nation that he wants America to return to prosperity, and that if elected he will not raise income tax on the middle class. What he doesn’t talk about is how his own family benefitting from organized labor.
As mentioned by Romney during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Mitt’s father, a union laborer and then plasterer’s apprentice, worked his way up the union labor ladder to eventually head American Motors Corporation. The A.F.L.C.I.O and its affiliated brotherhood; the U.A.W. built Detroit.
Before the labor movement took a foot hold in the United States, there were two economic, social classes. The wealthy land and business gentry, and the poor. The greatest family fortunes in America were amassed prior to income taxation, the great depression and the labor movement of the early 20th century.
Branded Socialist or Communist by big business, labor protestors of the day were often beaten or killed by hired strike breakers.
The widest disparity of wealth; much as we experience today, was the accepted norm of the day. Prior to the organization of labor and the implementation of government enforced minimum wage and fair working conditions; exploitation of labor built the fortune ‘100’ of the late 18 and early 19 th centurury. Many believe that American worker’s wages would reside at 3rd world levels today; if not for organized labor practices.
Organized labor pulled America out of the dark ages of ‘big boss’ servitude.
Although not a Unionist, this writer’s grandfather and father were both pro- union activist. Grandfather J. Jackson Parks was born to an English immigrant railroad town builder. Father Joseph was hard as nails and as tactful as a bulldog. He built railroad towns throughout what is Michigan and Minnesota today.
Jackson, growing up in the household of a labor pit boss, experienced firsthand the realities of unregulated labor practices. It was not uncommon for an immigrant worker of the day to work for a $1 per day plus room and board. Railroad workers would often ‘disappear’ prior to receiving their monthly pay.
As a young man, Jackson with the help of his parents, would opt for education over labor. Apprenticing for a Law Firm on his completing the 8th grade, would work for the firm as a Law Page up to the time of his enlistment in the U.S Army of world war one.
His experience in the war trenches of Europe, as well as the brothels and bars of Paris, would change his personal perspective forever.
He, like many veterans returning from war today, was convinced that the ills of the world were perpetrated by the industrialists of the day. His labor crusade would be that of a newspaper writer, editor and eventually Hollywood writer and publicists. In Jackson’s day, writers in Hollywood had no collective bargaining power, nor did they hold the publishing writes to their own work.
Jackson, the son of an immigrant railroad town builder would be implemental in the forming of the Screen Writer’s Guild; A union movement that would benefit all proffessional writers.
John G. McCants, the son of a Montana cowboy and Norwegian mother, traveled the world as a U.S. Navy Brat. The living conditions that young John had witnessed in third world countries, child labor, 24 hour shifts, factory living conditions without sanitation or running water; convinced him to honor labor through action.
Although John’s profession would be that of a teacher, he was not adverse to working with his hands.
A Standard oil service station attendant (unionized in the 50’s) and later a Todd Shipyard Draftsman (unionized in the 40’s,) administrator John McCants, L.A. City School District Principle, would lead the movement to form the California Education Administrators Union. Prior to the unions formation in the 80’s, administrators held no collective bargaining power in Los Angeles; at that time the largest school district in the United States.
Mitt’s 5 point plan.
Today, we live in a nation that remains in economic transition. The disparity between the rich and the poor has grown to epic proportions. A seemingly endless recession has gutted the coffers of the middle class. And while presidential hopeful Mitt Romney tells us that he wants all Americans’ to experience some level of sustainable prosperity, the nuts and bolts of his 5 point plan are those of the gutting of the Unions; the scraping of Obama-care; and the support of small business through some yet to be determined tax incentive.
He further offers to threaten Iran while imposing tougher trade tariffs and sanctions against China and others.
Romney has tipped his hat to the industrial, military complex by promising not to cut the military budget. Mitt justifies training an additional 100,000 military personnel under the battle flag of domestic protectionism.
Mitt’s plan to grow 12 million well paying, sustainable jobs in the next 4 years does not include organized labor. He, like most industrialist; simply tolerate labor as a part of conducting business.
What Mitt doesn’t tell you is that union sanctioned shops hold an advantage when bidding government funded projects due to the ‘prevailing wage’ requirements, imposed by the individual state in which the project is located. Health and welfare, retirement, and education funds remain a tax exempt expense for Union employees; while non-union employers must pay an employment tax on top of the benefit extended to the employee.
Once again, the issue at hand is government.