Sunday, April 3, 2011

Unionism, perceptions and gender

Natasha Vargas-Cooper has an insightful take in today's New York Times on an underlying gender issue in the ongoing protests of public employees and their supporters in the Midwest - one that is embedded in the current weakened position of the union movement.
"What did you do in the war, Mommy?"
WHEN a couple dozen brawny, uniformed and helmeted firefighters, led by a bagpipe player, marched through a crowd of pro-union protesters in Madison, Wis., last month, I knew, almost to a certainty, that Gov. Scott Walker had picked a fight with the wrong crew.
As the firemen assembled on the Statehouse steps, the swelling, boisterous crowd, which had raucously encircled and occupied the Capitol for days, pushing back against Governor Walker’s plan to strip public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights, all of a sudden slipped into silent reverence.

(pic via proud Dad, Marc Cooper)
While the plan exempts policemen and firemen, the first responders rallied under the oldest first principle of militant unionism: An Injury to One is an Injury to All. And the presence of these mostly white, husky, mustachioed firemen — many with soot still speckling their uniforms — had highlighted a major issue that generally goes undetected by the news media when covering labor conflicts 
In short, it’s what my old union called “the Husband Issue.”

Allow me to explain.

The real story of the original Tea Party - a revolt against tax breaks for a mega-corporation

Very illuminating bit of true "Boston Tea Party" history from Thom Hartmann -

Via Crooks & Liars.