I don't know how many of you out there are paying attention to what's happening out in Wisconsin but I encourage all of you, watch out.
I'm a little biased I will admit; I was born and raised in a union family, I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly of union and I will always believe they are not only our right, they are necessary. First, ask yourself 'What is a "Union"?' Answer - as defined by answers.com -
- The act of uniting or the state of being united.
- A combination so formed, especially an alliance or confederation of people, parties, or political entities for mutual interest or benefit.
- Mathematics. A set, every member of which is an element of one or another of two or more given sets.
- Agreement or harmony resulting from the uniting of individuals; concord.
Obviously we're not talking math here so we can just ignore that one but by the other three definitions, is a union really as evil as some would have you believe? No. Let's explore why...
What are the things we enjoy about work? There's not much, right? What about weekends though? Or the idea of a 40 work week? Sick days? Medical leave? Unemployment benefits? How about Worker's Compensation? Or fair pay (a.k.a. minimum wage)? What about the minimum working age of 16? You can thank labor unions for all that.
Just about every, single right you have as a worker is because labor unions fought for them, for you. Labor unions were you; it was factory workers banding together to fight for Sundays off, striking to get better wages to feed their families. It was normal people standing up to say, "I deserve better."
State workers are the people that allow our states to function. They have unions because they have rights. These aren't fat cats on Wall Street getting a hand out from Uncle Sam, these are teachers who educate our kids, firefighters who protect our homes and police who protect us. Do you like your State parks? You need Rangers to keep them open and guess what? Those Rangers are State employees. Those of you looking for "smaller government" should realize, the work has to be done by someone and if not the States themselves then who? The Feds??
So think about it...Is it really wrong if you and your friends stand together for something you believe in? Is it wrong if you group together with others who agree with you and fight for what you believe in? No. It's not wrong. It's a gift. It's a right we should treasure because we obviously might not always have it. The question we should really ask is who will speak for us if we dissolve the unions? What will happen to our rights as workers?
Will our rights as citizens be next?