Monday, May 19, 2014

Fifteen is fair and the Battle of Blair Mountain

Haven't spent a lot of time in West Virginia. I vaguely remember going through Wheeling as a kid. It was a Sunday morning and what I remember is a guy washing his new GTO at the side of the street.

Ergo, West Virginians could afford new GTO's.

More recently I was scoping out an old mansion on the banks of the Ohio River as a possible site for a retirement project. Imagine the blog View from the Ohio River... The fruition of my B&B dreams... Bola Granola on the banks of the Ohio...


In between, I ran through that part of the country back in the early '80's. I like to pick up local newspapers to get a sense of what's going on. The local newspaper had an advert for truck-drivers willing to make $2,000 per week, and willing to cross picket lines.

I was pretty damned willing on the first part, but not so much on the latter. You're obviously being paid off to be a strike-breaker.

Which brings us to the present. Last week saw the national "fifteen is fair" protests. Didn't get a lot of traction in the corporate media.

Which is a shame. I think the extant labour hierarchy will soon be the extinct labour hierarchy, if it isn't already.

The young kids getting the fuck-over with outrageous student loan debts and Micky D employment prospects are more than fed up with the existing union hierarchy.

After all, the current union leadership are the guys who have presided over the collapse of the labour movement in America. They're the guys who green-light two-tier contracts. They're the guys who proudly announce settlements that leave their membership working for sub-poverty wages.

Enough of that!

How many American school children are acquainted with the Battle of Blair Mountain?

Virtually none, with the possible exception of a few lucky kids home-schooled by progressive parents.

Almost 100 years after Blair Mountain, America's working class has again come back to square one.

Don't look to government to improve your lot.

Take action!

The coal companies in West Virginia couldn't make a profit without the collaboration of their workforce 100 years ago, nor can they today,

Your local McDonalds franchise can't make a profit without the collaboration of their workforce either.

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