Wednesday, April 8, 2020

My America: The Workplace Life and the Union #1

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

This is what I wrote on my You Tube channel where this is. "Getting active in my union and fighting the good fight on the job changed my life. It was through this struggle that I began to understand the world as it really is. In the workplace and society actually, there are only two sources of power. One is the bosses, the capitalists, the 1% whatever we want to call them. The other is the organized workers. The later hold the key to the future."

I want to do a few of these.  I wanted to write  book about my experiences but I have given up on that. I am still very much in contact with those people, those everyday working class folks who helped me make it thought the last 40 years. There is a lot wrong with this country, with the world. I am a socialist and never hod that from my coworkers. Without their support, friendship and solidarity I could never have survived intact and with some integrity as a union activist. I hope my former co-workers (I still go to retirement celebrations) feel free to let me know what they think of my story. A professor or academic needs peer reviews to publish their material. Being as I don't give a damn about what academia thinks or what the so called self styled left experts think, I encourage my co-workers to keep me afloat and balanced as you have for 40 years.

I am not anti-academic and respect those who have become experts int heir fields, if they are fields that actually advance human society and culture. But I am not impressed just because someone has letters after their name. I have a GED I got in NYC when I came here and I don't boast about it.

I am reminded when I was involved in a campaign against an incinerator in East Oakland that was spewing toxic gases. Eventually, a panel was formed and there was a big meeting where they spoke to the community. All I remember getting from that was there were poor and working class people in East Oakland who were explaining what was going on but there were none of them on the podium.

When they have panels or committees to investigate poverty or housing  they never put poor people or the homeless on them because they'll tell us what they need and capitalist society won't provide it. It's not complicated.

The present health crisis which is a crisis of the market or capitalism, how we produce food, how we grow food how we organize society has changed everything. In the US, the great society, the market has been exposed for the charade that it is.  Lessons will be learned through this and things will never be the same.  It will not be easy for the ruling class or elite if you want to call them that, to push people back. We will see some great clashes ahead folks. It would nice if progress came easy but it doesn't. But it is better to fight than to meekly accept what is.

If workers in other industries can relate to this let me know. If they have any advice let me know. If you want to tell your work stories send us an e mail at: we_know_ whats_

Most importantly, I hope my former co workers will help me too. Not just with compliments but with advice or thoughts about what I've said here and will hopefully say in the future . If you have anything you want me to write about, stories about life at work in your community, whatever,  contact us at the e mail above and on the right of the blog or give me a call.

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