On Labor Day we celebrate those who work — as opposed to those who inherit family wealth and those whose financial investments work so they don’t have to. Many workers who deserve to be honored on this special day have come from across the border. In a global economy, workers who strive for justice in their own country must, by necessity, unite with workers around the world.
Workers from across the border, as well as native born workers, often experience hostility. They work on farms and in factories. They empty bed pans in nursing homes. They scrub toilets and make beds in the hotel industry. They work in retail outlets. They work in the construction industry as carpenters and roofers. They educate our children. They care for our elders. They have earned our respect and gratitude.
Below are typical statements made by bosses to their employees – workers who struggle for survival on the dark side of Capitalism.
1. Look, it doesn’t matter if the fumes are making you sick. OSHA says everything is OK.
2. I already told you that you couldn’t have the morning off. Your Father’s funeral can wait till the weekend.
3. Union, did I just hear somebody say, “Union”? Fire that damn Commie !
4. You want a raise……..hahhhhahhhahahahhhah.
5. If you want health insurance, move to Costa Rica. This is the USA. Love it, or leave it. Besides, we don’t have any sick people here. We fire them when they get sick.
6. You say you want paid maternity leave. If the corporation wanted you to have a baby we would have issued you one.
7. What's the big deal - it's just asbestos.
8. Hey kid, stop crying and pick those tomatoes faster. You can celebrate your 8th birthday tonight when you get back to your camper.
9. Next time that you want to go to the bathroom, ask for permission first. That’s the rule.
10. You say that the school called and told you that your child was just injured on the playground and needs to go to the hospital. Who gave you permission to use the phone? Get back to work.
11. A little bit of ionizing radiation never hurt anybody.
12. Think of it as an adventure. Nobody dies from black lung anymore.
13. You say you want a week of paid vacation — move to France, this is America.
14. Hell no, you can’t leave. Wait till your shift is over. I don’t care if your labor pains are just 3 minutes apart.
Rosemarie Jackowski Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist and is a candidate for Vermont Attorney General.
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