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American Labor & ISIS –

Hay Market

The North American Labor movement has been in the shadows of our Founders now for more than 40 years.

We have taken for granted the benefits of the Middle Class they fought and died for. We have coasted and the word “I” has long replaced the “we” and “us” that underpins how labor wins.

The cry from the Hay Market monument is before us and we will be challenged to fulfill its message: “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.”

Will it?

Governor Walker (and potential Republican candidate for U.S. President) clearly and in full knowledge also challenged the American Labor Movement.

In his remarks to CPAC, he compared labor with terrorism – as enemies of the state the ultra-nationalist will have us living under if he is elected.

The response from labor lit up Facebook and progressive news outlets – demanding an apology!

The extreme right wing is running their playbook to equate labor with terrorism to a tee, which is now center stage in national politics and WE want an apology?

To Mr. Trumka and the Building Trades General Presidents: We express outrage in polite and non-confrontational terms? We are in the shadows of a great tradition of labor activism, legal & lawful labor unrest and civil disobedience. Yet we want apologies!?!

No wonder we as the North American Labor Movement are getting our asses kicked.

Our current Leadership is as unfamiliar with labor activism in this day and age – as our founders were with collaboration in their day.

Somewhere in the middle is not the answer – workers in a capitalistic society either fight for their rights or lose them.

Brother J.C. Turner, former General President of the Operating Engineers, penned a white paper in 1979, The Business Roundtable and American Labor, which clearly and specifically laid out the course of big business – more precisely what is now known as the Business Roundtable, and for us in construction, CURT (Construction Users Roundtable):!289&authkey=!ANb4O5GMPzmC1hs&ithint=file%2cpdf

His words filled the gap of our Founders back then and continue to be on point today. His words were known by the club of General Presidents then and are today.

But, they are ignored even though every word has come to pass – if anything, we in the Building Trades collaborate more now with the very entities that want to put us out of business than ever before.

An apology from Walker et al, puppet(s) to the big business interests that have their finger prints and dollars all over anti-worker, anti-union legislation?

Demanding apologies and being outraged is the exact response the extreme right expects and “If” that is all we have, start turning in your membership cards now on behalf of yourself and your kids!

Our silence & collaboration will lead to the death of this version of labor unless we step out of the shadows of Hay Market and put into action a place for labor today.

Here we are caught without the ability to use 21st Century activism and social media to put the genie of big business back into the bottle.

That can change “if” the Rank & File move right past a political leadership unwilling and at least to this point in time, unable to change when the situation so clearly demands it!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

The rallying point to turn from words and collaboration into action and to keep the Middle Class from becoming the Working Poor and breaking the status quo!

In Solidarity,

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising

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