‘It is a new ball game’
With Bill Clinton’s signing of NAFTA
and George W. Bush signing CAFTA, labor has a hard road ahead. Union leaders
seem faced with an almost impossible task of trying to preserve jobs,
wages and benefits gained over the years.
Are unions becoming helpless? Some members feel the union is no good because
it is changing the way it deals with certain issues. It is about time
these members realize we are living in the 21st century, not the 1940s,
1950s or 1960s. In those times unions were not faced with the threat of
job loss to foreign competition, with American companies moving their
plants overseas for cheaper labor or with a government that does nothing
to stop either.
It is a new ball game. We have to play with our eyes open because the
opposing team has the referees on their side. If union brothers and sisters
do not start working together, this union might not see another 70 years.
The members before us fought to get us the benefits we take for granted.
We did not get what we now have overnight; it took many long, hard years.
What can you do to make your union stronger? You can attend meetings,
respect fellow workers, and give helpful suggestions and advice. In other
words, get involved. Don’t just sit back and criticize.
Wouldn’t it be a great sight to see union halls across America full
on union meeting day? Wouldn’t it be great if every member of Congress,
governor and the president were overwhelmed by millions of letters from
working people telling them enough is enough and we are no longer standing
by while our jobs are lost and our standard of living is lowered?
The union is only as strong as its membership. So let’s all make
this union the strongest and the greatest in the land.
Retiree, Local 10