The Herald Bulletin

January 21, 2013

Viewpoint: US union workers have shown courage

By Jim James Sr.
Anderson resident

— The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is in session again at the Indiana Statehouse. Many years ago, it was called the Indiana State Legislature.

The Chamber and the fanatic, conservative Republicans have made it clear they plan another assault on workers in the state, especially those schoolteachers they dislike so much. The public schools and public school teachers in America have turned out some of the best scientists and military and business leaders in the world,

The state’s privatization of the public schools will be another failure, like Gov. Mitch Daniels’ privatization of Family and Children Services. It was a billion-dollar flop on the state taxpayers. I don’t know if conservatives will attack the Girl Scouts again. We will have to wait and see.

It’s time to take a look at the courage of union workers in this country. The teacher in Newtown, Conn., did not run away, she ran toward the shooter. She was found dead, holding her dead students she had tried to save.

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York, all power was lost at one hospital. The union nurses carried little babies down 14 floors of a dark stairway, and saved all of them. These are just some of the workers, whose bargaining rights the Chamber of Commerce and the fanatic conservative Republicans want to take away, in the state of Indiana.

A few weeks ago, 112 workers died in a fire in a factory in the country of Bangladesh. Most of them were 14- and 15-year-old children. They died because big bosses had bolted the doors shut, so the workers could not get out. The workers were making clothing, for 18 cents an hour, for big businesses in the United States — Sears, Wal-Mart and other clothing businesses in this country. When big business asks about working conditions in foreign countries, they always say, “Oh, we did not know they were treated like that.” Yeah, right!

The fact is, big business and the fanatic conservatives in this country support these slave labor, death camps in countries like Bangladesh.

As a veteran, I tell you, America, it’s time to rise up and fight these fanatic conservatives in this country, at the ballot box, and protect American freedom.

Don’t do what Germans did in the 1930s; go into the house, pull the curtains and say, “It will all pass.” It will not.