Friday, June 30, 2006

Union Organizing or Social Justice?

This line in today's Post caught our attention:
Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, called yesterday's protest "more about union organizing than social justice."
Spinola was reacting to a protest at the Empire State Building where seven protesters, including State Senators Tom Duane and Kevin Parker were arrested " while staging a protest for better wages and benefits for security officers there." The owners of the Empire State Building contract out security for New York's most important landmark building to a private firm called Copstat, that Pays $9 per hour, and doesn't offer decent, affordable health benefits.

But back to Spinola. He draws a distinction that eludes this blog because, quite simply, union organizing builds an on-ramp to the highway for social justice. In the words of Dr King, comparing the civil rights movement to the union movement:
"Our needs are identical with labor's needs: Decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old-age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children, and respect in the community."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Didn't you guys get the memo?

Affordable health care, a livable minimum wage--those are special interest issues now.

On the other hand, corporate tax breaks are generous acts that benefit all Americans. They have NOTHING to do with massive campaign contributions and well-paying jobs after your stint in Congress.

Special interests are all things that don't help rich people. DUH!