The singing, the marching, the get out the vote is over for the time being. Even though Scott Walker survived the recall, 16 months of tireless activism has swung a 20-12 Republican Majority in the Wisconsin Senate to a 17-15 Democrat controlled buffer for the people of Wisconsin.
In the wake of Wisconsin, the most troubling outcome for those who would stand up for the working men and women of this nation was a small, but not insignificant number; thirty-six. Thirty-Six percent of Union households voted for Scott Walker. Thirty Six percent of your fellow brothers and sisters voted to allow Scott Walker to further attempt to destroy their Unions.
For some reason, unbeknownst to me 36% of those we work with every day, 36% of those who man picket lines with us, 36% we advocate for tirelessly decided that our families did not matter. In an action more thunderous than any black legged scab of old, they decided to stab you in the back.
The part that hits me the hardest is this 36% of us will be the first on the shop floor who ask their stewards for help next time they need a grievance, these 36% will wonder where their benefits went, why their wages are going down and why times are getting harder for their families. And the other 64% of us will still tow the line, we will still fight for the 36% of us who spit in our face.
I understand the Conservative ideal on labor, however, I will never understand the Conservative Union man/woman who exploits their brothers and sister even worse than those we all stand up too. This 36% of us is worse than anything Jack London could have imagined in his epic prose on the Scab. When Jack London stated
“A scab is a traitor to his God, his country, his family and his class.” he never envisioned these few who have us fight for what they need, then need to fight us to prevent us all from having it.
The middle class wasn’t a reward given to those who just showed up for work, it was an ideal that our great grandparents and before fought and died for. The 36% of those who sided against their own families not only dishonored themselves they have brought shame to those who have come before us.
To those Mother Jones rallied, Joe Hill was framed for, that perished in the triangle fire, that were trapped in the mine because Blakenship and Massey Coal pursed profit over safety. 36% of us have betrayed you.
Unfortunately for the labor movement, the tea party and the Republican party they anchor isn’t our biggest enemy. Our biggest threat is our fellow worker who has decided that all the work we do for each other is good, but they could care less.