Labor Day 2016

Like some of you, I’m “seasoned” enough to remember when Labor Day meant the unofficial end of summer and the start of school the next day. Today, kids go back to school in August and Labor Day seems like just another Monday holiday.

Since Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers en masse – to be fair, they knew they were legally barred from striking and had been warned that Reagan would fire them – we’ve seen a steady reduction in the numbers and influence of unions and their members. Many states, particularly in Southern states, have enacted “right-to-work” laws and regulations which have led to reduced earnings and benefits.

The GOP has been virulently anti-union and its elected officials from the local level to the White House have done everything within their power to heed the desires of their corporate bosses and donors. They see unions and their members as greedy, lazy, unproductive workers who don’t want to work hard, but just want to be protected and coddled. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve dealt with unions for almost 40 years now both as a member when a part of labor and management when I’ve held executive positions. I respect and honor the primary goals of unions – good wages, benefits and job protection – for those they represent. Currently, I am a proud employee of the State of California and an equally proud member of SEIU and both entities have been good to and for me.

On this Labor Day, I salute the past, present and future of labor unions and their members. Unions have been at the forefront of ensuring a middle class in America and must be supported in trying to keep that dream alive and obtainable for as many as possible.

May God Bless and Keep You All and please, vote on Election Day!

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