Friday, April 07, 2006

Why We Fight (an occasional series)

It's hard to say it any better than Brother Jimmy Heyland from IBEW Local 1049 (via the Long Island Fed's Laborbeat blog):

Proud to be Union

I own a gun and hunt. I consider myself blue collar. I drive a pickup truck. I’ve drank more than my share of Budweiser in my time. I grew up on the stock car tracks of Riverhead, Islip, Freeport & Dexter Park thru the late 60’s & early 70’s. I fly an American flag at my house. My daughter & her husband are US Army and he just got back from Iraq.

Wait a minute. What am I doing here? A NY union activist voting the Working Family Party line. I must think that I can be a redneck union member.

My local union asked me, during the last presidential election, to go into the field and talk politics to my union brothers. I was amazed @union workers who were going to vote based solely on gun ownership. I was amazed @ union workers who felt that patriotism was the sole right of only one party. I was amazed @ union workers not seeing the way big business is involved in politics.

I have a "Support our Troops" ribbon, next to a Proud to be Union sticker on my pickup. I even had to wear a NRA hat to start a conversation on politics with some brothers. The point here is; I can do both. Anyone can. I can vote based on who cares about a national health plan or protection of my pension benefits


Alex Monticello said...

Amen Brother!

Jack Stewart said...

I am more of a political activist than a labor activist. I see the problem as too few political choices.

Two political parties don't provide a reasonable amount of choices. I use the following riddle to make a point that is based on nothing but common sense.

A Political Riddle

The Situation

A union steward is the party for the defense in a trial for assault on someone of questionable labor virtue.. Of course the prosecutor
is the party for the state.

There is one union member on the jury who plans to vote Republican because he favors lower taxes.

There is a second union juror who plans to vote Democratic because he fears he will lose his health care.

The Question,

The next time they vote, what party will these union jurors vote for?