Pleased to see Harmon supporting unions

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Hats off to state Sen. Don Harmon for distributing the union solidarity signs that have been popping up in yards all over the village. It is refreshing to see a politician going beyond the usual vote-for-me signs to address an issue of great importance.

Considering what has been happening in Wisconsin, it is clear to me that there is a ruling class, and they have shown their hand. They want greater control of our economy and government and will destroy anything that stands in their way.

Who can stop this? Answer: look at those institutions being targeted. It is only unions, the organizations of working people themselves, that have the power to save us from the ferocious onslaught. It is unions that gave us the eight-hour day, the prohibition of child labor, the weekend, safer working conditions and so much more. Our present-day needs cannot just be handed to us by our politicians. We must all support unions, support our right to freedom of assembly, to turn back the forces against ordinary people.

And keep those signs in our yards. Plant geraniums around them!

Patrick Dooley
Oak Park

Reader Comments

21 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Charles from OP  

Posted: April 24th, 2011 10:07 AM

Unions in the Public Sector are not a good mix! Look - no one is about bashing people. No good things are to come from having a Union negotiate with the Politicians looking for votes - and than taking money from Taxpayers. This is NOT about Profits - it is taxpayer's money. Just look what Franklin Roosevelt said "All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."

HWH from Oak Park  

Posted: April 23rd, 2011 11:17 PM

Thank you Senator Harmon. I hope we see those signs on every block in Oak Park. I guess some people think all union workers are corrupt, greedy and useless and don't deserve to earn wages that can provide them and their families a decent middle-class wage. What about the Police Officers and Firefighters who protect us? Teachers,nurses even some doctors are union members and the list goes on. The collapse of the middle class is the collapse of the economy. We are the backbone of America.

tjk from oak park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 4:16 PM

I love how a guy that picks ih8idiots as a scren name makes veiled phyisical threats. Tom's post was inaccurate and misleading. Have you read what actually happened in the house? As far as libeling our governor, read up on HB6065 and tell me he's not owned. It passed the Illinois house 104-1, the senate 34-8, and was vetoed by Quinn because the teachers and nurses unions asked him to do it (fortunately his veto was overriden). Do some research, I'd be happy to have an educated discussion.

ih8idiots  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 3:44 PM

LMAO @ tlk, who bashes all unions with the same hoary "they are all corrupt" nonsense, libels our governor as being a puppet of the unions, and then has the gall to lecture someone on skewing the facts. I hope I never meet you at a pick-up bball game.

tjk from Oak Park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 12:35 PM

Say what you will about Scott Walker, but it's acknowledged his actions are making teachers unions stand up and take notice (even here where our Gov is bought and paid for). Of note-the teachers unions in Illinois were the biggest campaign contributors in 3 of the last 5 election cycles. Teachers do great things, but we also need more Scott Walkers. Dismissals based on performance, not tenure? How revolutionary! http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/market_news/article.jsp?content=D9MK413G0

tom broderick from oak park  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 10:58 AM

One can only hope that the Senate will not pass this. We are on a long arc of union bashing/busting and the U.S. House is but one venue for this anti-worker activity.

tjk from Oak Park  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 10:08 AM

Way to skew the facts to your favor, Tom. The House did not make that decision, that was the law until last year when the National Mediation Board (really two members), as a favor to orgainzed labor, changed the rule to make it EASIER for workers to organize. Some in the house want to reverse the change. It will never get through the Senate. Do you just assume everyone here is ignorant and no one will fact check your stories?

tjk from Oak Park  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 9:45 AM

I don't know why any union supporters in Illinois are even concerned. Stop depriving your grass of needed sunlight this spring...our governor is bought and paid for by the public employee unions.

Repeat Commenter from Forest Park  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 7:48 AM

Mr. Broderick, so long as this is happening in a private, non governmental business, then I am sympathetic to your cause. Once this becomes the a public employee issue, I have a an objection and will support the government's attempt's to break up the union and their pernicious hold on those that govern and negotiate with them.

tom broderick from oak park  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 7:13 AM

In the latest attack on the rights of workers to organize, the U.S. House decided that non-voters in union elections for airline and railway employees would be counted as "no" votes. So those that vote "yes" get counted as "yes." Those that vote "no" and those that don't vote get counted as "no." Does theft of democracy sound like an appropriate description? This is not a blast of anti-worker choice from the past. This is happening today.

Albert   

Posted: April 14th, 2011 6:28 AM

Harmon MUST Go - he is the leader of Abuse. Supporting Unions are not the issue. The issue is Harmon Leading the corruption and out of control spending in Springfield. Just look at the pensions - that he and his leaders approved. The Tribune Watchdog report uncovered these slush funds - where politicians like him getting 100k a year Pensions when they retire???? A true leader Cuts WASTE Fraud and Abuse - not hide behind a Union Sign. But NO, he wants to Divert the Discussion

Sign Free on My Lawn Please from River Forest  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 6:27 PM

OP Resident - just in time with the Fox News Slander! Do you chant that 'Fox News Lies!' brainwash everywhere? Top salaries in government aren't all that great, and are generally set by a legislature. Outside experts are a different deal, and those are what they are White collar patronage...where have I heard that before? Oh, right..in the City of Chicago. Home of the Democratic party. You know, the party that is funded by...wait for it...Public Employee Unions!

OP Resident  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 6:14 PM

Too much Fox News in your diet, My Lawn. The wealthy have been pitting the working classes against each other since the 1600's. You do realize that the top salaries in government are earned by people who do not belong to a union? Check out the salaries of the top folks at Village Hall? Examine the hourly rates being paid to experts, consultants and outside legal counsel. It's white collar patronage. Plain & simple. A reasoned thought process will help you better understand the issues. Good luck

Oak Park mom voted yes  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 6:04 PM

Thanks, Tom! I have been wondering where to get one of those signs. I also second the thank you to Don Harmon.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 6:00 PM

Where would you be today, tjk? Do you really think that the benefits and safe working conditions that you so easily take for granted would exist without collective bargaining? Employee unions, both private and public, have done the hard work for you. Support the middle class and working poor. Multi-national corporations are outsourcing jobs because they want cheap labor. Check out the disparity on what the top brass are now earning compared to the average worker. It's shocking & unpatriotic.

Not on my lawn from Oak Park  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 4:35 PM

Sorry, Patrick..wrong! The real class war is between govt workers of all stripes (the true ruling class) and those of us who pay for it. Those in Wisc, Ohio, etc see that it's been ALL in govt; the union workers their Democrat hack partners, who have contibuted mostly to the problems because THEY rigged the game. Contracts, wage/ben deals..all of it. Public unions didn't help build this country...they've only lived off what private unions & employers helped create. Time to end a bad idea!

tjk from Oak Park  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 3:23 PM

Why does every union supporter claim that unions are responsible for every positive working condition today, like if they disappear we'll all work 16 hour days and 7-day work weeks. I'm not in a union. I hardly ever work weekends. I also don't get contractual raises and a taxpayer funded retirement at 55. Unions did great things for this country - 75 years ago. Like a lot of other organizatoins that have been around for a while, they're bloated, corrupt, and self-promoting.

another concerned citizen from Oak park  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 2:26 PM

OP Resident speaks to the waste and mis-management in the OP area of which the government is consulted to many times. And, who gives those no-bid contracts? Yep, your left leaning patrons of the unions, local goverment. A vicous cycle.

OP Resident  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 2:18 PM

Concerned Citizen has got it all wrong. The economic troubles facing the fed, state and local governments are not the result of collective bargaining with public sector unions. Address the waste and mismanagement and you'll see real savings. End no-bid contracts and halt the practice of hiring outside consultants. Those are the deals that drain the coffers. White collar patronage is responsible for much of the crisis.

Concerned Citizen from River Forest  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 2:02 PM

What are the present needs of union labor? I'd be interested to know as thosse accomplishments you list occur in the past, and are really not in danger of disappearing in this day and age. What is happening across the midwestern state capitals is a correction of the social contract between taxpayer and employee. It is so ironic seeing that Oak Parkers seemingly have no limit as to how much they want to pay in taxes to support public employee unions, and their political leaders.

tom broderick from oak park  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 8:14 AM

If you want to show support for the labor movement, you can get your sign(s) at the office of the Democratic Party of Oak Park: 1243 Woodbine in Oak Park. Call 708 386 0090 before you go, to make sure they are open.

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