I am basically a pro-union person, and believe that if it were not for the unions, the United States would never have had the very well off middle class that gave us a standard of living beyond the wildest dreams of most inhabitants of this planet we call earth.
It was union wages and bargaining that provided my young family with the opportunity to live in nice neighborhoods with good schools.
It was not easy for the early union organizers --- many of them were beaten or killed --- and too often the government used deadly force to protect their business friends against unions (that is why I am more than a little concerned when some of the first words out of Walker's mouth were National Guard --- although I think our present Guard Members have too much professionalism and honor to be Walker's baseball bat).
Unfortunately, many of the lessons of what it took to gain the union strength and collective bargaining rights have been forgotten by too many of us today. It's easy to think that an 8 hour work day is normal, when we forget that civilians right here in Milwaukee died for that right.
Hopefully our teachers and other public employees who have enjoyed union protection and bargaining rights have not forgotten about those sacrifices of their ancestors.
In recent years, however, these same teachers an public employees have forgotten a key ingredient that is critical to the success of unions ---- Solidarity !
As I commented in a blog posting some time ago, it is shocking to see the number of foreign cars parked in teacher's lots, and at the police stateions, firestations, and other places pubic employees park.
When teachers and other public employees purchase cars that are not from UAW shops --- they are hurting the very people who pay the taxes that enable them to have a decent living wage and working conditons.
I hope the teachers were humbled when representatives of unions that represent private sector workers, showed up to suppor them in Madison.
Hopefully the next time a teacher or public employee is in the market for a car, they will remember the solidarity that others gave them. And maybe they will shun Walmart in favor of stores that have union representation, or perhaps some American Made Products.
I hope that the teachers were especially humbled when the firefightersand police officers joined them in Madison. Walker had hoped to divide and conquer by rewarding the unions that endorsed him --- I am sure he did not count on the integrity they showed, by announcing they cannot be bought, and they will stand with their counterparts, whose unions Walker is trying to destroy.