The anti-union ballyhoo around the decision of the union at Boeing to reject the company offer of cutbacks is a sad naiveté and one the American labor force can ill afford. Even a brief examination of the early history of the labor movement is a lesson in how a rising tide lifts all ships.
The bloody sacrifices of those pioneers in the struggle to gain a livable wage began a sweeping reform of the nation’s valuation of all people of the laboring class that feeds all of us the better for it’s affects. No other event even comes even close in the establishment of the principle of the laborer being worthy of his hire.
It is a predictable travesty that big business should instigate these circuses to pit us against one another, but a true tragedy that they have been so effective in bringing this nefarious plot into effect. Every gain for labor creates a higher watermark for the entire American labor market to recognize.
In my working career, I saw the unfortunate increase of corruption of organized unions that honesty requires us to acknowledge. But, during that time I never lost sight of the unmistakable truth that, corruption and all, we were still much, much better off than we would have been without them.
We established this “more perfect union” of a country for the express purpose of freeing ourselves from the ravages of an oppressive aristocracy. It’s about time we got that train moving again.
Harold R. Pettus