From owner-labor-l@YorkU.CA Fri Apr 4 13:00:42 2003
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2003 12:29:11 -0500
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YorkU.CA>
From: grok <grok@SPRINT.CA>
Subject: [Fwd: US Congress Chief Says Unions are Good for Terrorism]

From: ILC <>
Subject: US Congress Chief Says Unions are Good for Terrorism
Date: 04 Apr 2003 06:00:19 -0800

Patriots & profiteers

By Gregg Shotwell, [4 April 2003]

House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay, signed a letter of solicitation for the National Right to Work Foundation which accused unions of threatening homeland security and exploiting national emergencies for selfish gain. The letter contends that “union bosses are using the war on terrorism as a cover for their power drive!”

“My friend,” he insinuated like a viper, “We in Congress who care about winning the war, keeping America safe and prosperous, and protecting workers' rights are doing all we can to counter the power-hungry union kingpins.”

Never mind it was union troops who rushed into burning towers on 9/11 and risked their lives in the days that followed searching for bodies amid the dust and rubble. Never mind the only rights that Republicans care to defend for workers is the right to work for less money, no over time, no job security, no health and safety, and an ergonomic standard that would cripple a robot. Never mind that Republicans don’t believe the minimum wage can ever be too low. Never mind that contrary to DeLay's contention that unions “ exploited the Second World War”, it was corporations that profited from war when wages were frozen and our troops overseas depended on the loyalty of union men and women in American industry.

DeLay's anti union screed not only questioned the patriotism of union members, it claimed we present “a clear and present danger to the security of the United States at home and the safety of our Armed Forces overseas.”

While TV network hacks broadcast the power and glory of pounding Baghdad to dust, Bush & Co. pushes it's tax-cut budget through Congress without public discussion, and the war on workers envelopes our hope for a better life in a body bag of national debt. Bush & Co. threatens our jobs, our health care, our pensions, our social security, the education of our children, and our relationships with workers in other nations.

When West Michigan Manufacturers gathered in Grand Rapids to brainstorm ways to protect our industrial base, Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra advocated for less restrictive labor and environmental laws. According to ‘Huckster’ legal protection of the environment and workers health, safety, and economic security softens the competitive edge of US manufacturers. We can always count on the ’Old Hooker’ to come up with a solution that degrades our living standards and binds our security to multinational companies with no allegiance to anyone, let alone the troops.

The Grand Rapids Press, a corporate mouthpiece and shill for the Republican party, advocated in a recent editorial that the State legislature restrict Living Wage Ordinances. The hacks believe we should compete for the lowest living standards in the nation.

Bush & Co. deplore the anti war protesters as unpatriotic. They tell us to get behind the president and support the troops. On 3/19/03 the United States Senate passed a resolution, 99-0, in “support” of the president and our troops. At 3:00 am the noble troop supporters passed the Bush & Co. budget cutting $15 billion from the Veteran's Affairs budget. May they burn in hell.

The family of an American soldier killed in action will receive a direct death benefit of $6,000, half of which is taxable. In addition they will receive $1,750 for burial costs, barely enough for a cheap funeral. The parents of the soldier will not be compensated for their lifelong loss, but a surviving spouse will receive $833 a month until he or she remarries. Each child under 18 will receive $211 a month until they turn 18, after that they are on their own.

One term in Congress will earn a politician $15,000 a month pension for life. Congress voted themselves another raise and they don’t pay social security taxes. If Bush & Co.'s tax cut passes as planned Cheney will receive a windfall of $327,000 in the first year. [Bloomberg Financial News] Who knows what his kickback from Halliburton will be? But he supports the troops, at least until the troops get home and expect a job with a Living Wage.

Bush & Co., the appointees of the Corporate State, are embroiling us in endless war. Peter Hoekstra wrote an editorial in the Grand Rapids Press which concluded: “Saddam left us no choice.” Horseshit. Bush & Co. had all the choices. Saddam was in check mate. The Coalition of the Bought does not include Canada, Mexico, China, Russia, Turkey, or the majority of the European Union. Never in history have there been such massive world wide protests against a war. Bush & Co. are manufacturing enemies and mass producing popular movements against world domination by the Corporate State of America.

While the corporate/media shows the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, citizens of other nations see the dead, the wounded, and the maimed. All over Europe, Indonesia, the Middle East, the United States, and Canada citizens take to the streets. The debate on war is over. Now is the season of protest and civil disobedience. As Mark Twain once said, “Loyalty to the people always. Loyalty to politicians when they deserve it.”

Now is the time to take our words back from the corporate hacks. We know what “freedom” is. We know what “patriotism” is. We know freedom doesn’t mean we pledge allegiance to multinational corporations. We know patriots don’t blindly follow the dictates from Appointees of the Corporate State.

A true patriot supports the troops day in and day out. A true patriot supports the troops on the assembly line; the troops on the docks, warehouses, mines, and farms. A true patriot supports the troops driving trucks, buses, trains, and airplanes. A true patriot supports the loyal health care workers in our clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, and rest homes. A true patriot supports the underpaid nursing aides assisting Alzheimer's patients. A true patriot supports the social workers, the teachers, the day care workers. A true patriot supports Justice for Janitors, and trash collectors, too. A true patriot supports the right of government employees to bargain collectively. A true patriot supports secretaries confined to cubicles; immigrants enslaved in the needletrades; meatpackers, butchers, and maids. A true patriot supports the campaign for a Living Wage. A true patriot supports cashiers and clerks and parking lot attendants. A truue patriot supports the cooks, the kitchen staff, and the waiters. A true patriot supports carpenters, painters, plumbers, millwrights, electricians, tool makers, and mechanics. A true patriot supports the roofers, the librarians, and the road crews. A true patriot supports mail handlers exposed to anthrax, retail workers abused by Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sell-Out-America-Mart. A true patriot supports the disabled, the unemployed, the homeless, the victims of HIV, toxic chemical hazards, mental illness and addiction. A true patriot supports the troops in every walk of life, day in and day out. A true patriot says, no veteran shall be homeless or hungry or deprived of medical care, ever. True patriots support the troops whenever they confront injustice and deceit.

Make no mistake, brothers and sisters, Bush & Co. are not patriots. They are cold blooded profiteers.