Letter to the Editors – The Power of Unions

Detroit has a rich history in the labor movement. A union is an organized group of workers who collectively use their strength to have a voice in their workplace. Protected under Federal Laws, workers have the right to join a union. Through a union, workers can impact wages, work hours, benefits, workplace health, safety, job training and other work-related issues. Unions help to ensure fairness and respect in the workplace. These aspects are the main reasons why workers want to organize. Remember a UNION is not some stand alone entity separate from its members. A UNION is comprised of all the workers.

Without worker’s labor, business owners, and developers, could not enjoy all their capital. Their capital is the fruits of our hard work. Labor builds capital! All workers ask for in return is a fair wage, health care, retirement benefits, and a safe workplace. The eight hour day did not come about through the natural workings of the market or through the kindness of business and government. It came about through the direct action of organized workers. Those workers faced physical and mental abuse to help pave the way to better wages and benefits.

Government collects taxes from the working men and women. They reinvest, by offering tax breaks to developers helping to build capital. This idea in circulating the money to move the economy works only when the circle is completed. When the circle is not completed this is how tax paying workers don’t receive a fair wage. This reduction is also known as wage theft. Someone needs to make up the tax revenue from these tax breaks.

POLITICS are EVERYTHING! Environmental Regulation, Public Services, Educational Process, Roads, Public Utilities, Workers Assistance, American Safety Nets, Building regulations, Regulations on recreation, Who controls them? YOU the elected officials that we put into office. It is important to make sure you are registered to vote and participate in the election process. The notion that your vote or voice does not count plays into the hand of the right. YOUR VOTE COUNTS! Corporate America has done quite a job on marketing, dividing in creating an apathetic society.

If you do not have a union at your job, find out more about how to form one. Today, more people are taking the step to form unions on the job than at any time in recent history. You can be one of them! To find out how to form a union check out http://www.workingamerica.org or http://www.aflcio.org/About/AFL-CIO-Unions

Brad Ballard is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Membership Development. “Empowering Workers Changing Lives” join@ibewlocal58.org

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