Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tea party we need unions we need to respect all the hard working low wage earners who fought for their rights this past century. Ask your grandparents. Most of them probably worked in an unsafe factory or manual labor job for the rich. On March 25th 1911 there was a tragedy that woke up America and made people fight for safe working conditions that employers weren’t providing.
We see the bullying happening again by local governments eliminating jobs, police officers, firemen and teachers because the fat cats in government don’t know how to make a budget and stick by it. They never put a freeze on their own salaries and they always break for their paid vacations and holidays. Right now Obama seeks to raise the ceiling on borrowed debt. Can I get an exception on my foreclosing house and simply ask if I can borrow more and still live in my home? Hell NO
Right now the Police Academy where I learned how to be a Police Officer and later in my career was an instructor is empty of students due to budget cuts in New York City. Yes, the same place Frank Serpico famously served and fought corruption. Why? Because New York City can’t balance its budget. Meanwhile, cops are retiring and the force is getting smaller with no one being trained for a future job.
On March 25th 1911, 146 people died in an horrendous factory fire. They were trapped in a burning factory with poor lighting, no fire escapes poor working conditions, doors locked. They jumped to their death from factory windows as thousands looked on helplessly. The fire ladders only went to the 4th floor, the fire was at the 6th floor. Without unions there was no voice for the employees. Like now with the employment crunch, employers are bullying their workers and if you don’t kis their asses you are fired. Period.
It was the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York’s Greenwich village. Then it was a poor factory now it is million dollar real estate lofts. 500 workers were in three floors. This particular fire reunited New Yorkers and forced them to speak up for better working conditions for people. Lets form a Union! It led to reforms. The story is known as “Out from the Ashes.” Soon new safety and fire regulations were put in force, child labor laws and workers compensation.
It brought together the women’s trade unions, Francis Perkins, who witnessed the horror later became F. D .R’s Secretary of Labor. She called it “the day the new deal began.” Every year since then there is a gathering of hundreds at that street with a fire truck’s ladder symbolically not reaching the upper floors of the building. Michael Hursh is a producer making a HBO Documentary on the fire. He worries that the events from that day are fading people regard a union’s dues as just another deduction from their pay check.
At Mount Zion’s Cemetery there is a memorial to the dead victims that the words on the tumbstones are fading to be unreadable. How ironic. It is a metaphore for what these people did for us; and now the ungrateful Tea Party are not supporting the people of Wisconsin who are fighting for the stability of their jobs. Even the descendants of the brave people who lost their lives trying to save others now are unaware of the story of their relatives. Thanks to Hursh’s research for the documentary, many relatives are grateful of the knowledge of their ancestors. This sounds like a show from the Ancestory TV show .
It has been revealed that the owners, Max Blank and partner Isaacs Harris locked the doors to the factory to keep out the presence of union organizers. They were later acquitted of all charges. The owner descendants suffered also, Susan Harris a granddaughter knew nothing of this fire growing up until she happened to read a book by Leon Stein called” The Triangle Fire. Although her family changed the spelling of her name and moved to California she found out that this book and the events were about her grandfather.
For the past 5 years she has been working on a tribute to the victims and display it in honor of them despite the blame passed on to her family. She believes that if she had lost her family in a unnecessary fire, she would have wanted to blame someone too. Who do we blame for all the lost jobs now and programs being cut in our neighborhoods and rising taxes on everything but the air we breath? Meanwhile the rich are now counted as billionaires and politicians are bought by large un-unionized corporations and stupid people like the Tea Party do not fight for the rights of their fellow citizens who have a legacy of suffering the past century.
Workers are not hero’s on a battlefield. They want families and homes and food on the table. They do not leave home trying to be heroes but when you leave home and feel your voice has to be heard and you speak it, you are a hero even if the more powerful refuses to acknowledge your existence and replaces you at your job.

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