How many old men told each other and Henry Miller that he was just some idealistic youngster when he said he wanted to form a union for electrical workers? I see a lot of young people in our union now that aren’t ready to stomach the old injustices. If you don’t want to join the fight, well please don’t get in the way.
All my dignity, all my love for my family, all my respect for humanity, all my humility, all my appreciation for god, nature, the finite and interconnection and relation of all things. These come with me to work everyday. I couldn’t leave them at home if I wanted to.
The whole man/woman/person goes to work. And each day we pray that at the end of the day the whole worker will come home. And when I go home I bring back so many unwanted parts of the job. I bring home the silica in my lungs and on my clothes, the cramps in my hands and the soreness in my back and feet, the short temper that comes with under sleeping, the knot in my stomach that ties itself up arguing between security and righteousness, the humiliation from knowing that I am exploiting god and nature and the finite to serve folks that deny that they already have too much, while my fellow workers slave away. While the mother of the children I love slaves away. While children all over the world prepare to enter the slave market totally unarmed to do combat in the class war that is our economy.
Tell me I shouldn’t be here. Tell me love it or leave it. Tell me I’m idealistic. Tell me that everything I want for myself, for my brothers and sisters, for my family is unrealistic. Tell me this is just one contract, it’s just one contractor, it’s just one job, it’s just one day.
I’ll leave when I’m done. I’ll shut up when I have nothing to say. Thanks for reading. Thanks to everyone who has confronted some fear of their own to stand up already. Thanks to all you cautious old folks that stood up once before and were pushed back down.