Published Friday, December 21, 2012
I see that columnist Lawrence Reed is again gloating over a Republican Party win in the battle against the American worker. Michigan has just passed a Right to Work Law. Again, this so-called Right to Work Law does not guarantee anyone a job and only allows non-union workers to freeload off the dues-paying union member.
My first experience with worker solidarity occurred in 1957 when I was a 17-year-old sack boy for a local food chain. We had gotten a new manager who had decided the pay clock stopped when the store closed. Sack boys worked Friday afternoon and all day Saturday for 55 cents an hour plus tips and were required to help clean the store for about an hour after it closed around 7 p.m.
We found out we weren’t getting paid for that hour and the other four sack boys talked me into being their spokesman. I and my four co-workers approached the manager in his office after the store closed, and I inquired if he was going to pay us for the time we were expected to work. Evidently, he decided he didn’t want to clean the store himself, so he agreed to pay us.
That was my first lesson that management would abuse labor if they could and that by sticking together the worker could obtain justice.
If you think company CEOs care about worker rights, I have some beachfront property in Arizona you can buy. The only one who cares about a worker’s rights is the worker himself, and he can only ensure justice from the big corporations through organization and collective bargaining.
Dennis Thompson, Newnan