Fight Today For A Better Tomorrow!
For more than three decades, Americans have experienced an intense corporate assault on democracy – a revolutionary shift from a government “…of the people, by the people, for the people,” to one of corporate rule.
This represents a significant change in the historic values and aspirations of the nation, and is the consequence of a deliberate strategy employed by corporate executives who have used their financial and political resources to change laws and, equally important, attempt to change thinking. “New thinking” is to portray corporations as benevolent institutions revered by all and minimally regulated because, after all, they are “the job creators.” American working families, however, are recognizing a government of “corporate rule” does not and cannot work.
Middle class comes first
As the history of the last few decades shows, following the corporate blueprint condemns working families to flat wages and foreclosed futures. That is why working people are saying, “Enough is enough!” In this important election year, it is working families led by their unions who will defend the country’s democracy and demand “Trickledown Economics” be thrown out and replaced by “Middle Class Economics,” a new economy that is driven by consumers – consumers who are paid a living wage rather than a starvation wage.
The key ingredient to political success is having strong and vibrant unions. That is why the UWUA launched the campaign to Reclaim, Retrain, Repower, Repair America at last year’s convention, and is following it up with a series of 2016 Regional Educational Conferences.
These conferences will focus on rebuilding worker power by returning to “Union 101.”
Winning justice isn’t easy. It requires a sophisticated mix of winning through collective bargaining and servicing workplaces, and then sustaining those gains through effective political action and citizenship programs. Throughout the year, union leaders will be constantly searching for opportunities and different approaches to engage members more. Whether mobilizing for strength during contract negotiations, fighting for legislation to protect working families and electing those who will fight for that legislation, or continuing the UWUA’s legacy of fighting for social justice, it is critical to have the direct involvement from members.
Educating, agitating, and mobilizing members to take personal action can be difficult. Although the challenge of mass mobilization of members may appear daunting, it’s also vi-tally important. The billionaire bonanza witnessed today truly threatens the country’s very democracy. The extreme wealth concentrated within a handful of American families, and how that concentration of wealth impacts the quality of life for all Americans, is unconscionable.
America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit comfortably in one single Gulfstream G650 luxury jet – population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households.
This is not the America that the founding fathers envisioned, nor is it the America that has made the population so proud. Unfortunately, current trends show this inequality is actually getting worse. In fact, over the last decade, a huge share of America’s income and wealth gains has flowed to the top one-tenth of the richest 1% – leaving the rest out of the “recovery.”
It doesn’t have to be this way
Things can be different. They don’t have to be this way. Actually, many are beginning to demonstrate their belief that change is needed – and possible. This year’s regional conferences will provide leadership training in the important tasks of bargaining and the day-to-day representation of UWUA members, as well as political action. So, 2016 is truly a “year of decision.”
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