I think that union history should be taught in elementary schools and even in high schools to remind our future labor participants what work life was like before the unions. Union history not only teaches us how hard, dangerous and unappreciated work was back then, but also how ordinary people can come together and successfully fight for better conditions even against stronger and wealthier opponents. These lessons are important to teach to the next generation. Labor is just as important as capital and I think that we might have forgotten that; I think that we allowed the wealthy convince us that labor was no longer relevant since the introduction of robotics and assembly lines. I think that we need to elect lawmakers who realize and believe in the importance of labor, we also need to look outside of our backyard and peer across the pond to see how Germany fares with its worker councils who work side by side with management protecting their workers best interests in alignment with the company’s well-being, because labor has as much at stake with their company’s health as management does and upper management seems to forget that. Our nation needs to do a 180 with how we treat labor; we need to link our minimum wage to the inflation index, we need paid sick days, we need paid vacations and we need companies to reinvest in their workers, just like it used to be in the good old days before stake holder capitalism became subverted to shareholder capitalism and all that counts and matters are stock options, shareholder positions, stock prices and excessive executive compensation packages. Companies do best when their workers are happy and appreciated; just look at what Walmart has become, it’s a shadow of its former self and I bet that it’s because their employees are miserable from being worked to the bone and barely compensated for it, most employees qualify for Medicaid and SNAP benefits; what effect must that have on employee morale and pride?
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