Friday, February 25, 2011


On Facebook, and at recent rallies, I see and hear the old Union battle cry of "Union Maid" and I think of Mother Jones, Leonora Barry and my personal heroine Frances Perkins, and the other women important in the labor movement and how those brave women were the inspiration for the Women's Liberation movement so many years later.

I spent nearly all of my work life in management positions and many people are surprised when they learn of my support of unions. I always say that I've worked in union and non-union shops and I prefer the union shops because it keeps us "honest"! Not that I didn't have go-rounds with the Unions; after all, I worked with the UAW at two different shops but I never LOST a grievance because I respected and followed the Contracts. When someone in Management would refer to it as "the Union Contract", I would always correct them and say, "It's OUR Contract!" I found that many management people caused many of their own problems by not KNOWING the Contract.

My support of unions goes much deeper than "honesty". It's not only because three of my brothers are strict unionists but I also reap the benefits that are derived from my husband's having been a union member for 40 years. My husband and I worked at the same company but our health care plan comes from his employment; as a retired management person, I would have to pay three times what my husband is paying for us.

Before I was a management person, I was a union member and I became a Union Steward and Union office holder. I was a member of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters And Butcher Workmen Of North America and The United Paperworkers. My older brother helped to organize the American Bakery and Confectionary Workers Union at Pennington Bread, where my father was a member of management. As his younger siblings, my brothers and I heard the daily fights about the "evil" union from my father and the "savior" union from my brother! You can guess on which side Neil, Norman, Duke, Les and I sided.

1 comment:

Mona Lisa said...

You can't scare me either!