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Labor Perspective From Holly Wood Via medium.com: One Weird Trick You Can Do To Help The Labor Movement ‘Without’ Joining A Union

Published Tuesday, January 5, 2016
by Holly Wood/medium.com

A lot of people I know exist outside of the world of Unionization.

Though there is a massive freelancer Union, few people I know are Members.

Virtually none of my friends who work in tech are Unionized.

And academics, well, ironically enough?

But then my family, who are not well-off, work in Retail and Health Care Service Industries where Unionization has struggled to get a foothold for years.

Companies like Walmart and Target employ notorious Anti-Labor Practices to suppress Worker Organization, effectively firing anyone who even says the word Union on store property.

They lobby the government in a constant effort to sabotage Labor Law.

They force all new hires to watch an Anti-Union Propaganda Video before they’re allowed to interact with other Employees.

Recently, Walmart admitted to hiring Lockheed Martin to spy on its Employees’ Social Media so they would know who to fire: Lockheed, a major defense contractor, provided the retailer intelligence gathering for surveillance of Employees to stay on top of any efforts to Organize Workers or disrupt business in 2012, just before planned Black Friday protests by a group called OUR Walmart, the report claims.  OUR Walmart advocates for Higher Wages for Walmart Employees, among other demands.  Lockheed’s team monitored Employees’ Social Media Feeds to keep an eye on planned protests.  Bloomberg reviewed hundreds of pages worth of pages of e-mails, transcripts, and other documents ahead of a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing into allegations that Walmart retaliated against Employees who protested against the retailer in June 2013 (source).

Yeah, because we live in a Nation where this kind of anti-democratic bullshit is tolerated and part of the reason it’s tolerated is because the American people aren’t saying it’s bullshit loud enough.

There’s no good reason Employees should have to live in the terror of getting fired because they engage in public discourse about Labor Protections.

Do you hear how maddening that sounds?

Can you imagine living under such fear?

To not be able to tweet the goddamn hashtag #fightfor15 without fear that Lockheed Martin is going to report you to your boss so your kids can go hungry?

What kind of Orwellian hellscape are we living in?

Maybe you have a nice job and Labor Protections aren’t the first thing on your mind when you go to work in the morning, but we live in a country where most people’s jobs are garbage, where you can be fired for practically any bullshit reason, like tweeting #fightfor15.

While it’s (probably) not your fault that American jobs are awful, the fact that you never think about bullshit jobs to begin with is part of the problem (But honestly, even if you’re a complete asshole and don’t care about poor people at all, I think it’s pretty important for me here to underline this related pointIt should make you really uncomfortable as an American Citizen when Walmart contracts a military subcontractor to spy on domestic civilians.  I mean just chew on those implications for five minutes before you go back to being someone who doesn’t care about poor people).

I know there are no Walmarts in San Francisco.

There are no Walmarts in Boston, New York or Seattle.

Most of my friends have not been in Walmarts for years.

We hate Walmart, right?

Team (expletive deleted) Walmart 100%.

But when we stop thinking about Walmart because we never shop there, it’s not in our daily task list to think about how America’s #1 largest employer is abetted by military-grade expertise in legally stifling the political discourse of American citizens.

This should absolutely be on our minds, every day as we ourselves go to our jobs.

This is what we, as citizens, no matter what industry we are employed in, need to be talking about when we think about what kind of America we want to live in.

We need to be thinking about the most vulnerable in our Labor Force and the conditions with which they are being treated if we want to fight inequality.

We can’t put it off for later or  leave it to Hillary Clinton to think about a solution for us (I mean for Christ’s sake, Hillary Clinton sat on Walmart’s god-damned board of directors at the exact time they first started dreaming up all these bullshit Anti-Union Tactics).

We need to cultivate some civic empathy really fast, America.

It costs you nothing to start thinking more about how the vast majority of Americans are getting through their days.

My heart breaks when I watch shitheads like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio talk about the poor and Working Class like they aren’t listening, because they aren’t worth thinking about in their garbage vision of a greater America - except as a public resource they can sell off to the Koch Brothers.

It sickens me that we have not, in an age of such epic inequality, centered our collective attention to our most vulnerable children.

I want a better future and we’re not getting there fast enough, America.

If you’re with me here, you know that a major reason why Walmart gets away with the shit it does is because the most powerful Workers in America aren’t thinking about Walmart.

It’s not on our minds.

It’s not in our discourse.

And as such, we are complicit.

So are you ready for my one weird trick?

Start talking about Walmart.

Please start talking about the Labor Movement again.

People need to speak to make a discourse.

Make it a point tomorrow to start reading about #fightfor15 and the National Labor Movement.

Start thinking about how you can help your friends think about Unionization, because even if you yourself don’t feel like you need a Union, you probably know people who do.

America is a big country with a lot of bad jobs (If you don’t have any friends with crappy jobs, then you’re probably a classist (expletive deleted). Good job.)

People think talk is cheap, I know.

That talk doesn’t do anything.

But I know this one weird trick about history: Talk has started every revolution there’s ever been.

You Can Directly Access This Labor Perspective at: https://medium.com/@girlziplocked/one-weird-trick-you-can-do-to-help-the-labor-movement-without-joining-a-union-1418b55135f6#.xt5zbsbfj

 

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