Blue Collar Buzz, Features, Law and Politics, National

The Year of the Rank and File

January 23, 2018

By Bill Hohlfeld

Commitment. That’s what gets the job done. When people become committed to a cause, an idea, or a philosophy, is when things begin to happen. That’s why,

LaborPress: Here for workers.

this year, everyone from the publisher to the writers, editors, producer and even your humble host of Blue Collar Buzz has committed themselves to reaching out to all our brothers and sisters who number among the rank and file.

That’s not to say that we don’t acknowledge, appreciate and respect all the hard work that all the various union officials and staffers do every day. Of course we do. But we also know that the best of generals cannot win a war, or even a solitary battle without an army behind him.

Let’s face it. Top down movements are about as effective as trickle- down economics. That is to say, not effective at all. But a movement that percolates up from the bottom, is unstoppable.

So, we at LaborPress want to hear from you, the worker in the field. You may not have the burden of negotiating a good contract on your shoulders, but you are the one who will live with the contract you have for the next three or four years. You may not have the onerous task of crunching numbers to insure that as many members as possible have the best dental plan available, but you do know the strain of taking your child to the dentist and finding out that just filling cavities isn’t enough, you’ll need to provide braces as well. You, and your families are on the front line every day. You’re good troops, and we need you.

That’s why, in 2018 we will be reaching out to you, the workers. Whether you are whipping out top steel on the 52nd floor of a high-rise, twenty feet ahead of the concrete bucket, or standing in front of an overcrowded class trying your best to reach the students in your charge, we want to know what you think. Whether you’re bending pipe and pulling wire on a residential rehab, or driving the forklift at Costco, we want you to know that we are not just talking, we’re listening too. Whether you are the nurse on the floor doing backflips to make sure all the patients in your understaffed wing receive the care they need, the nail salon worker, taxi driver, correction officer, or unorganized bus boy, you are the lifeblood of this city and this country. We want you to know that we know that.

So we are putting it up to you to set our agenda for us. Tell us what you want to hear discussed on our program, what you want to read about on our website, and what you think Labor’s most pressing problems are. We want to be your voice. We can’t be that voice without you.

Whenever the enemies of the labor movement try to discredit us, they like to refer to us as “Big Labor.” It’s a blatant attempt to portray the unionized workforce as corrupt and unmanageable.

We know nothing could be further from the truth. Ironically, there is a partial truth here. If all workers, organized and unorganized alike, pulled together, supported one another, acted in unison in the political arena, and made our voices heard, we would be big indeed. Then, maybe some things would change.

LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” airs every Sunday night on AM970 The Answer from 9 to 10 p.m. Visit LaborPress.org to stream episodes posted the next day. This week’s episode, as well as every other episode of LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” is also available on demand at www.am970theanswer.com.

January 23, 2018

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