Friday, May 08, 2009

Marking 75th Anniversary Of 1934 San Francisco General Strike

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This video takes a look at the 1934 San Francisco general strike. May 9 marks the 75th anniversary of this historic event, which occurred during an era when U.S. workers were willing to stand up to defend their rights.

Sadly, today's working class in America seems to be content with letting CEOs and other robber barons shit all over us, as these crooks loot the U.S. Treasury and dole out hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare to themselves and their rich allies.

If you've had enough of all this, consider joining a union.

"There is power in a factory, power in the land,
Power in the hands of a worker.
But it all amounts to nothing, if together we don't stand
There is power in a union.

Now the lessons of the past were all learned with workers' blood,
The mistakes of the bosses we must pay for.
From the cities and the farmlands to trenches full of mud,
War has always been the bosses' way, sir

The union forever, defending our rights,
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite.
With our brothers and our sisters from many far-off lands,
There is power in a union."


---Billy Bragg, "There is Power in a Union,", 1986.

9 comments:

Jack Jodell said...

We could certainly use a much stronger union presence today to slam the power brakes on outsourcing, frozen worker wages, disappearing benefits, and skyrocketing CEO salaries. We can only hope that the Employee Free Choice Act passes and that unions begin to make an aggressive membership-building drive. We have been in an economic insane asylum in this country ever since the Reagan era! Power to the people, right on!!!

Marc McDonald said...

re:
>>>We can only hope that the
>>>Employee Free Choice Act passes

With the Dems now pretty much assured of having the necessary 60 votes in the Senate to defeat GOP filibusters, there are NO LONGER any excuses for not passing this bill.

Jack Jodell said...

I agree 100%, but I fear the more conservative, "Blue Dog" Dems will withhold their support, which I think will be a disaster. It's hard to believe and paradoxical, but many in this country who need unions most (especially in the South) view joining a union akin to guzzling bleach or antifreeze. Unbelievable!

Manifesto Joe said...

I would love to help organize a union where I work, but I know very well that if I did I wouldn't last long there. One of the big reasons unions have been declining for so long is workplaces where it is common knowledge that your ass would be fired very soon after you invited an organizer in. There will have to be very strong legislation passed to put a stop to that kind of shit.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the Libs are still promoting unions. Why do you think our economy is in such terrible shape today? It's because of the greed and dishonesty of unions. President Reagan had the right idea: if you go on strike, you're FIRED.
Unions are socialist and anti-American. In case you Libs have forgotten, Ameria is a CAPITALIST country.

dr sardonicus said...

Perhaps Anonymous can explain why it is that when a group of investors get together and form a corporation to protect their interests, that's red-blooded American capitalism, but when a group of their employees get together and form a union to protect their interests, that's un-American and socialist?

Rebekka Pierre said...

We need another general strike in every city, town, and village in this country. That is the only way to be heard. Cut off the money and the labor, and you better believe people in power will listen. Too bad people have forgotten about our own power.. what we have is numbers if nothing else.

Chris said...

Anonymous writes that Unions are anti-American. Well, you can thank unions for the fact that there are worker safety laws, reasonable working hours, health insurance (although we in Canada have universal healthcare, dental care for some strange reason isn't covered), and even your write to say this here with little fear of being persecuted.

Like it or not, unions or some form of help is needed for the workers. The developed world runs on its middle class, and unless that middle class can spend and has money, society won't function. Real middle class income has stagnated for the past 30 years (increases due to more women working, but on a per capita working basis, it has stagnated vs. inflation). Unions are needed to bargain for the worker, especially considering that so many agencies in the US government are now dysfunction after the reign of George W. Bush.

To Marc:

You're forgetting that even with 60 in the Senate, there are plenty of Blue Dog Democrats out there who would likely get in the way of such bills.

I would like to see more Congressional Progressives in power. Perhaps people should be allowed to choose between right, center, and left wing democrats.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Chris, thanks for your comment.
re:
>>>Real middle class income has
>>>stagnated for the past 30 years

You'd be surprised at how many right-wingers simply don't believe this statistic. I've had countless arguments with wingnuts over the years and they just flat out refuse to believe that workers' incomes have stagnated since 1980. You might as well try to convince them that Global Warming is real.