George Orwell’s 1984 was on my mind as I spent hours waiting to testify against the so-called right-to-work bill when it was heard before Senate and House committees. That so many supporters of organized labor packed Representatives Hall made the long wait worthwhile, although I had to leave before my name was called.
Orwell didn’t actually use the term “doublespeak” in his novel, but the idea evolved from “newspeak” and “doublethink.” Timely in this post-truth era, it means reversing the meaning of words for political purposes.
Right to work sounds like job security, but it targets the very organizations that can advance the interests of working people.
My great grandfather escaped poverty and oppression in Ireland and found work in the steel mills in the Cleveland area. When he and his co-workers grew weary of 12-hour days with two Sundays off per month, they tried to unionize. His name went to the top of the blacklist, and he never worked in the mills again.
Right to work would not have helped him.
Think unions have outlived their usefulness? Consider the fate of the father of the first baby born in Concord this year. According to the news accounts, he lost his job because he missed time when his wife went into labor.
The union contract I work under not only offers a degree of security, but provides for paid sick leave for taking care of a family member.
Urge your legislators to kill this bill before we are double-crossed.