Going into Labor
Friends, today I read a passage from the Demotivational Dictionary:
labor union: just about the only people on planet Earth who give a flying shit about the plight of the lowly worker.
–Source: not Wikipedia
What is a labor union?
If we think of the employer/employee paradigm as a formula, on one side of the equation we find power, control, the ability to make decisions, have a hand in the company’s fate, profit, dignity, respect, ties to government, legislation, influence, and much, much more.
The labor union is that which stands to protect all that remains on the other side of that equation.
There may be a lot of power-imbalanced relationships in the average person’s life, but the relationship between employer and employee is most likely at the top of that list. Bar none.
Are labor unions perfect? No. Do they have flaws? Yes. After all, they are comprised of flawed human beings just like every other human-based organizational unit on planet Earth. They are, however, just about the last bastion of hope for the average worker who stands opposed in the face of overwhelming injustice and the imbalance of power.
Like my daddy used to say, it’s enough to make me go burlap.
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The news of Sally Ride passing was something that hit me harder than I expected and took me by surprise. It had been a while since I had heard about her.
As a NASA booster and a fan of the space shuttle program since it began, Ride was a hero of mine. (According to Ride’s sister she “hated” labels of every kind, including the word hero.)
Described as a “private” person, Ride kept details about her pancreatic cancer from the public eye. She also chose not to reveal that she was gay. She lived the last 27 years of her life in a same-sex relationship.
Ride is often described as “the first American woman in space.” (A Russian woman named Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space way back in June 1963.) Twenty years later Ride did it aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983. (The same shuttle that claimed the lives of seven astronauts just three years later.)
Ride also had a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and took that brain into space, logging 14 days, 7 hours and 46 minutes of flight time away from the Earth.
Sadly, Sally Ride was prohibited in this country from marrying the person of her choice. And because she was in a same-sex relationship, Ride’s partner of 27 years is not entitled to death benefits or Social Security payments.
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