Archive for September 5th, 2011

September 5, 2011

Just Another Example of Union Civility

by lewwaters

Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa Jr. calling on Barack Obama and union members to “take out” the “SOB’s”, meaning Republicans and Tea Party members.

H/T RealClearPolitics

Just more of the typical union violence noted here

Bring it on, Mr. Hoffa. But don’t be surprised when we fight back really hard.

You see Mr. Hoffa, it’s not only our America too, but we are also workers, those who are fortunate enough to still have a job today.

Obama’s reaction? He’s “proud of Hoffa” and other union leaders here.

September 5, 2011

America Enjoys Labor Day, Ignores the History of Violence Responsible for it

by lewwaters

Labor Day, for many it’s the official end of summer and the beginning of a new school year for children. A day set aside by congress in 1894 and, according to the Department of Labor, “a creation of the labor movement and dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.”

What is conveniently left out of that “dedication,” is acknowledgement of the economic depression that began the previous year in 1893 and what became known as the Pullman Strike, where economic conditions not much different than we see today caused layoffs and wage cuts at the Pullman company, a company who was known for manufacturing rail cars that converted to sleeping quarters overnight.

George Pullman, owner of the company cut wages, but retained the level of rent he charged workers in his company owned homes, causing a strike that the American Railway Union decided to become a part of. Their efforts led to “Rioting, pillaging, and burning of railroad cars,” disrupting not only travel, but delivery of the mail.

Eugene V. Debs

Democratic president Grover Cleveland deployed troops to break up the strike and in the ensuing escalation of violence and looting, two men were killed. The leader of the American Railway Union, Eugene V. Debs went to prison, his union disbanded and Pullman employees had to sign a pledge they would never again unionize.

In the meantime, seeing several states passing and celebrating a Labor Day and sensing political unease due to his sending troops in to break the strike; President Cleveland called on congress to rush through a national Labor Day in an effort to reconcile with a weakened but still present Labor Movement in America.

The legislation passed unanimously June 28, 1894, just 6 days after the Pullman Strike was broken.

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