UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Before there were Unions Free Market Capatalism Was Free to Grow

I’ve got nothing tonight, but a civics lesson and a history lesson. Our tax dollars paid for the article below and it is free for all of us.

Many some ones paid for our right to be free and to have a chance to organize and to try to earn a living for our selves and our families. We have to learn the history of the so called free market and the real results of deregulation or we will be doomed to repeat them.

Http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/hine-photos/

Teaching With Documents:
Photographs of Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor

Background

“There is work that profits children, and there is work that brings profit only to employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their work.”

– Lewis Hine, 1908

After the Civil War, the availability of natural resources, new inventions, and a receptive market combined to fuel an industrial boom. The demand for labor grew, and in the late 19th and early 20th centuries many children were drawn into the labor force.

Factory wages were so low that children often had to work to help support their families. The number of children under the age of 15 who worked in industrial jobs for wages climbed from 1.5 million in 1890 to 2 million in 1910.

Businesses liked to hire children because they worked in unskilled jobs for lower wages than adults, and their small hands made them more adept at handling small parts and tools. Children were seen as part of the family economy.

Immigrants and rural migrants often sent their children to work, or worked alongside them. However, child laborers barely experienced their youth. Going to school to prepare for a better future was an opportunity these underage workers rarely enjoyed.

As children worked in industrial settings, they began to develop serious health problems. Many child laborers were underweight. Some suffered from stunted growth and curvature of the spine.

They developed diseases related to their work environment, such as tuberculosis and bronchitis for those who worked in coal mines or cotton mills. They faced high accident rates due to physical and mental fatigue caused by hard work and long hours.

By the early 1900s many Americans were calling child labor “child slavery” and were demanding an end to it. They argued that long hours of work deprived children of the opportunity of an education to prepare themselves for a better future.

Instead, child labor condemmed them to a future of illiteracy, poverty, and continuing misery. In 1904 a group of progressive reformers founded the National Child Labor Committee, an organization whose goal was the abolition of child labor. The organization received a charter from Congress in 1907.

It hired teams of investigators to gather evidence of children working in harsh conditions and then organized exhibitions with photographs and statistics to dramatize the plight of these children. These efforts resulted in the establishment in 1912 of the Children’s Bureau as a federal information clearinghouse. In 1913 the Children’s Bureau was transferred to the Department of Labor.

Lewis Hine, a New York City schoolteacher and photographer, believed that a picture could tell a powerful story.

He felt so strongly about the abuse of children as workers that he quit his teaching job and became an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. Hine traveled around the country photographing the working conditions of children in all types of industries.

He photographed children in coal mines, in meatpacking houses, in textile mills, and in canneries. He took pictures of children working in the streets as shoe shiners, newsboys, and hawkers.

In many instances he tricked his way into factories to take the pictures that factory managers did not want the public to see. He was careful to document every photograph with precise facts and figures.

To obtain captions for his pictures, he interviewed the children on some pretext and then scribbled his notes with his hand hidden inside his pocket.

Because he used subterfuge to take his photographs, he believed that he had to be “double-sure that my photo data was 100% pure–no retouching or fakery of any kind.” Hine defined a good photograph as “a reproduction of impressions made upon the photographer which he desires to repeat to others.” Because he realized his photographs were subjective, he described his work as “photo-interpretation.”

Hine believed that if people could see for themselves the abuses and injustice of child labor, they would demand laws to end those evils. By 1916, Congress passed the Keating-Owens Act that established the following child labor standards: a minimum age of 14 for workers in manufacturing and 16 for workers in mining; a maximum workday of 8 hours; prohibition of night work for workers under age 16; and a documentary proof of age.

Unfortunately, this law was later ruled unconstitutional on the ground that congressional power to regulate interstate commerce did not extend to the conditions of labor. Effective action against child labor had to await the New Deal. Reformers, however, did succeed in forcing legislation at the state level banning child labor and setting maximum hours. By 1920 the number of child laborers was cut to nearly half of what it had been in 1910.

Lewis Hine died in poverty, neglected by all but a few. His reputation continued to grow, however, and now he is recognized as a master American photographer.

His photographs remind us what it was like to be a child and to labor like an adult at a time when labor was harsher than it is now.

Hine’s images of working children stirred America’s conscience and helped change the nation’s labor laws. Through his exercise of free speech and freedom of the press, Lewis Hine made a difference in the lives of American workers and, most importantly, American children.

Hundreds of his photographs are available online from the National Archives through the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) .

Resources

Foner, Eric, and John A. Garraty, eds. The Reader’s Companion to American History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991.

Nash, Gary B., et al. The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1990.

Tindall, George Brown, with David E. Shi. America: A Narrative History. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1992.

The Documents

Garment Workers, New York, NY
Click to Enlarge

Garment Workers, New York, NY
January 25, 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523065

Basket Seller, Cincinnati, OH
Click to Enlarge

Basket Seller, Cincinnati, OH
August 22, 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523070

Boys and Girls Selling Radishes
Click to Enlarge

Boys and Girls Selling Radishes
August 22, 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523071

oy Working in a Shoe-Shining Parlor, Indianapolis, IN
Click to Enlarge

Boy Working in a Shoe-Shining Parlor, Indianapolis, IN
August 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523072

Top of Page

Boys in a Cigar Factory, Indianapolis, IN
Click to Enlarge

Boys in a Cigar Factory, Indianapolis, IN
August 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523076

Boy Running 'Trip Rope' in a Mine, Welch, WV
Click to Enlarge

Boy Running “Trip Rope” in a Mine, Welch, WV
September 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523077

Children Working in a Bottle Factory, Indianapolis, IN
Click to Enlarge

Children Working in a Bottle Factory, Indianapolis, IN
August 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523080

Child Workers Outside Factory
Click to Enlarge

The Noon Hour at an Indianapolis Cannery, Indianapolis IN
August 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523088

Glass Blower and Mold Boy, Grafton, WV
Click to Enlarge

Glass Blower and Mold Boy, Grafton, WV
October 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523090

Girls at Weaving Machines, Evansville, IN
Click to Enlarge

Girls at Weaving Machines, Evansville, IN
October 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523100

Top of Page

Young Boys Schucking Oysters, Apalachicola, FL
Click to Enlarge

Young Boys Schucking Oysters, Apalachicola, FL
January 25, 1909

National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523162

Girl Working in Box Factory, Tampa, FL
Click to Enlarge

Girl Working in Box Factory, Tampa, FL
January 28, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523166

Nine-Year Old Newsgirl, Hartford, CT
Click to Enlarge

Nine-Year Old Newsgirl, Hartford, CT
March 6, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523174

Boy Picking Berries, Near Baltimore, MD
Click to Enlarge

Boy Picking Berries, Near Baltimore, MD
June 8, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523205

Workers Stringing Beans, Baltimore, MD
Click to Enlarge

Workers Stringing Beans, Baltimore, MD
June 7, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523215

Boys Working in an Arcade Bowling Alley, Trenton, NJ
Click to Enlarge

Boys Working in an Arcade Bowling Alley, Trenton, NJ
December 20, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523246

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June 23rd, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Labor, Labor Movement, Labor rights, Lewis Hine, MSEA, MSEASEIU, child labor | no comments

Zombie Donkey or Where are all the Democrats?



Where are all the Democrats?
I know it is a pony, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a picture of a Zombie Donkey?


Card Check

Penalties for labor law violations

Mandatory Arbitration

When card check seems to be the very basis for America and lets the majority rule, why the ugly push back from the right?

Card check makes a juicy target.

By portraying the card check provision of the EFCA as un-American the anti EFCA forces can pretend to be the underdog, defending the common man. The “defense” of the secret ballot lets Blue dog Democrats and some moderate Dem senators avoid a vote and justify their opposition.

The labor movement knows they can not simply depend on the support of the Congress they elected. We need to pull away the political cover so they will be forced to vote in the open.

Out of the gate, business seized a lead by portraying card check as Anti-American. Labor needs to push back against this, both with logic and with emotion.

Arguing against the “taking away the secret ballot” argument sets up a is not”, “is so” argument that wins for business because most people stop listening to a long and involved debate.

We can’t just yell “we are Americans too!” it isn’t a good sound bite and it has no emotional punch.There has to be a message that everyone supports, Unions and non-unionized. It would be great if it could be done in a 30 second spot, and I think it can be done.

Employers break the law, there is intimidation by employers. There are illegal firings and people’s lives are ruined, but how do you get that into 30 seconds?

We can get enough clips from You Tube alone that show unpopular people speaking against the EFCA. Picture Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, and millionaires on screen with their estimated worth under each while they talk spout venom.

“They have it all, why don’t they want anyone else to have any?”

Support America Support the Employee Free Choice Act.”

Penalties

The strongest arguments on the side of labor are the tens of thousand of cases of illegal intimidation by employers, the firings, the threats to workers and communities.

Anti-EFCA groups try to bypass any discussion of labor intimidation and pretend ongoing and blatant employer intimidation is not happening or only happens in an insignificant number of cases. (NLRB) Charges filed 47 violations by unions vs. 27,000 plus violations by Business.

Union Busters claim that they know there are abuses by employers, but that if labor had the EFCA, then they might do the same. The argument boils down to “we want to be the only people to be able to abuse the law”, yet they have no interest in making those violations costly to business.

The strength of the EFCA is that if any one piece is passed without being crippled it will start to balance the scales of justice. Penalties alone would make the process of Union Busting far more dangerous to employers to go into without the intention of staying legal.

An additional note on penalties.

The main problem with the penalties as they stand is that they are not adjusted to inflation or the size of the work force. Violations should not remain just a cost of doing business. I would drop the fixed amount fines and put in a relative one based on payroll.


Fines could start at 20% of the total payroll per year and increase on repeated violations. This would be the same threat level to a million dollar company as it would be to a billion dollar company. I would also factor in the cost of payroll for any outsourced labor, just to keep companies from dumping employees to minimize a fine. Repeated violations would increase the level of the penalty up to 100% of payroll. This would result in employers becoming far more conscious of the law.

Mandatory Arbitration

Mandatory Arbitration will be Custer’s last stand for Union Busters. They know that even if they are must recognize a Union they can spend years refusing to negotiate while attempting to continue their former tactics and break the new Union.


They want to stop the whole bill but in the end, it is the mandatory arbitration clause of the EFCA that is both the real target of the Union Busters and the most important goal to achieve with passage of the EFCA.

Are Compromises Possible?

Labor knows compromises are possible; any successful contract is all about compromises.

The first so called compromises from the right were all about retaining the long, long, wait until any election is held.

Any argument based on increasing the wait for an election is not a compromise, it is a vote against the EFCA. The Union Busters best weapon has always been a long wait before balloting, allowing for intimidation and pressure tactics by employers and in rare cases, by labor organizers.

The Anti Labor groups says that labor is not interested in any fair solution. How woud they know? The idea of negotiations is what they are fighting against, how could they even imagine participating in a fair discussion?

The compromises offered so far go nowhere far enough to prevent future firings and intimidation of pro-union workers. The second goal of any compromise offered by business at this time has been to keep the lack of significant sanctions for labor law violators. The third goal is to avoid any mandatory arbitration.

Unlike business, Unions have experience at negotions. If there is to be any compromise, We must I both strengthen the enforcement concepts of EFCA, retain mandatory arbitration, and even expand the punishment for violations, both for employers and for labor.

To labor the EFCA has become a highly emotional bill and they are understandably reluctant to talk compromise. Since the Taft Hartley bill in the 1940’s the labor friendly laws passed after the depression have been eroded and weakened by repeated give aways to business interests.


Labor believes strongly that even if the card check proposal part of the bill were erased, some blue dog Democrats and some Republicans with heavy Union membership at home would still try to vote the compromise down because both the Democrats and the Republicans would have be less able to hide their attempts to pay back their corporate supporters.

I believe that many of the fence-sitting Democrats are actually against the EFCA because they are owned by business, but are still afraid of the voters after November 2008. Any compromise that retained any form of secret ballot would take away the cover and expose those who want to vote for business against their constituents.

The instant Union recognition provision of the EFCA where the Union is immediately recognized, gets push back

The right was fast and smart (did Hell just freeze over?). By seizing the secret ballot argument they can make it their own.


Provide card check that triggers a secret election in one day. Keep the secret election but take away the weapon of time from the employer. They need time to scare employees.


Retaining some form of Secret ballot will defuse much of the arguments against the EFCA.

Employers claim they need time not for intimidation and coercion but because they were surprised by the Union’s organizing success and want to put across their views and concerns to employees before a Union becomes permanent.

The “we need time” whine is specious. An employer has a chance to speak to employees every day. They have a chance to raise wages and/or benefits or to let the employees know why they can not. When a Union has a successful organizing drive it is a proof of failure of the business to stay in touch with their work force.

The deck remains massively stacked against Union efforts. Captive audience meetings, firings of pro-union workers, and meaningless sanctions against employers that violate the law has resulted in the need for a law to rebalance the scales.


Employers are not interested in compromise, they have control, why should they bend?

Labor has to win this one. Democrats hid from Dick Cheney, controversy, and daylight, during the last two years of the bush reign, they are no longer the undead, they won, where are they now?



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June 11th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | EFCA, EFCA compromise, Employee Free Choice Act, Labor Movement, Law, SEIU, Secret ballot, Trade union, United States, Work, card check | no comments