Yet communism and socialism are not the only repugnant foundations of unions. In the 1880's, as unions increased while the Reconstruction Era ended, black and white workers were usually considered equal. But as Democrats regained power, especially in the South, Jim Crow laws infected all points of society, including unions. (see , , , and ) Skilled black workers were soon dismissed as unions composed contracts only allowing members to work. Since the unions discriminated against blacks, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Hispanics and Jews, these minority groups were denied employment. Many blacks chose to follow Booker T. Washington's example, working hard and proving they were equal. (see ) However, white laborers, with the help of unions, put up every road block they could. Current President & CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Harry Alford, described it best:
"Due to the Jim Crow laws of the South, there were many Black southern craftsmen who would travel to perform their skills. Many would go to places like New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, etc. and would out compete local white contractors who could not perform as well as they did and could not settle for their affordable pricing. It was because of this, that construction unions in the North were formed to block out Black crews from coming into communities and providing a better service for a cheaper price. Soon after the unions were formed they set in motion the Davis-Bacon Act (named for two New York congressmen). This act set up arbitrary labor wage scales so that Black craftsmen could no longer under price their white counter parts. They all had to pay a certain price, prevailing wage, at a minimum and competition became no more. With the price competition out of the way, the whites moved in through political favor and blatant racism. This would be followed with Project Labor Agreements which meant some projects would be declared 'Union Only'. With the construction unions discriminating against Blacks, PLA’s would also mean 'Whites Only'."
In essence, union leaders and many of their members used their organizations to keep blacks and other minorities out of the workforce. NAACP co-founder W.E.B. DuBois spoke out against the racism in unions in 1902, after discovering over 40 national unions without a single black member while almost 30 forbid black apprentices. (see ) Companies, under the blessing of the unions, would have separate titles for white and black workers with the only difference in their jobs being their uniform and pay. Therefore, blacks had no choice but to form their own unions out of necessity as they were forced out of such industries as firefighting, construction and the railroad. AFL leader, Gompers, stated in his memoir Seventy Years of Life and Labor that his faith was in “the principle that maintenance of the nation depended upon maintenance of racial purity.” As Negros were ceremoniously dismissed from highly skilled jobs, Democrats escorted them back to the status they held before the Civil War. Negros were not pushed out of the workforce because of capitalism. They were shoved out because of unions.
During a strike at St. Louis' Aluminum Ore Company in 1917, managers arranged for a small group of Southern blacks to serve as strikebreakers. Being two years after Democrat President Woodrow Wilson reintroduced the Ku Klux Klan to the nation by showcasing the movie The Birth Of A Nation at the White House, it was not hard for AFL leaders to stir up a race riot as union bosses encouraged strikers to "resort to mob law" if authorities failed to act. (see ) Immediately, blacks were violently attacked until fires rushed through a black residential area on July 2, 1917, forcing 10,000 Negros to flee their East St. Louis homes. In the end, residents suffered $7 million in property damage with over 200 blacks and 8 whites killed. In a meeting with former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, Gompers defended the riots. Roosevelt replied, “In the past I have had to listen too often to the same kind of apologies for the murders committed against the Armenians and the Jews. . . . I say to you, sir, that there can be no justification, no apology for such gross atrocities.” (see )
While many American union members may not have subscribed to their leaders’ socialist ideas, and still don’t, immigrant European workers flooded America’s shores bringing with them their ideologies of Marxism and Leninism. Communism made its way deep into the Congress of Industrial Organizations, or CIO, another powerful union. This, along with massive corruption in union leadership over the years, has tainted the view of unions in many eyes. Likewise, as unions gained power, they continued to look more and more on the government for regulations, even in the private sector, a very socialist and communist ideology.
In the 1940's, several smaller unions supported the Fair Employment Practices Act, but only after labor unions were omitted from complying with the bill. After finally purging its communist element, the CIO merged with the AFL in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO, which is still in operation today. While some unions financed the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's, members rebelled against Republican President Richard Nixon, who extended Affirmative Action laws requiring unions to admit blacks. Yet, union leaders dare to insist they are part of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. (see )
Since the turn of the 20th century, especially under Progressive Democrat Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt, unbridled government regulations on businesses have greatly stifled our economy. Fellow Progressive Democrat Presdent Barack Obama signed well over 20,000 new regulations alone, absolutely choking our economic growth, all while claiming to be the champions of workers and labor unions. Likewise, AFL-CIO and other unions fully backed Obamacare, a bill designed specifically to lead us to single-payer, or socialized, healthcare.
Democrats, who champion union causes, still try to divorce themselves from radical anarchists. However, with their embrace of Antifa, they prove they have not changed in 130 years. (see ) Starting in 2009, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumpka and other union leaders encouraged their members to go after the newly formed Tea Party and its members, which they did. (see ) Among the victims was a female FreedomWorks activist as well as a black male Tea Party member, who were both physically assaulted. Obama started his presidency by claiming, “The police acted stupidly,” opening the door for anarchists to attack police, just like they did in Haymarket Square. (see ) Recently, California Democrat Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters called for uprisings from their supporters. (see ) Their words mirror those of Gompers and the AFL leaders and the anarchists responded as Trump advisors and supporters are attacked daily across the country. Likewise, CNN's Chris Cuomo recently defended Antifa, claiming "all punches are not equal morally", implying Antifa's brutality is justified and therefore permissible.
Many claim if it were not for the unions, 10-hour days and 6-day workweeks would still exist. Capitalist Henry Ford fought against unionizing his company for years, while offering workers better benefits on his own. Understanding how those benefits enticed and kept good workers, which he included minorities and women, Ford raised wages while providing 40-hour work weeks. To compete, other auto companies followed suit. Holding out as long as he could, Ford eventually succumbed to the United Automobile Workers (UAW). As the union entered Ford Motor Company, blacks and women were shown the way out. In the end, auto unions demanded so much in benefits and pensions from automobile companies that they destroyed the once great city of Detroit. (see ).
Liberty, I am in no way saying that union members are automatically socialists. Coming from a family full of union workers, including your father, such a broad generalization is not only ignorant, it is irresponsible. Most union members are honest, hard-working people. Yet, while unions have done good in many cases, they continue to do great damage to America. Their leaders have promised the world to their members in exchange for dues, of which only 2% is used for actually administrative duties, and votes, of which they spend the remaining 98%. Unions gave $160 million to left-wing candidates and causes in 2016 while only $1 million to Republicans. It was only after the Supreme Court ruled against Unions taking fees from non-members did Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren care about allowing workers to vote on where the money goes, as outlined in her new Accountable Capitalism Act. Now with the freedom to choose, members are abandoning unions at an amazing rate, tired of the bullying, socialism and racism.
Labor Day was designed for workers to take the day off, believing it is the government’s job to grant such gifts. However, God already designed a day of rest for his people. God purposely directed his followers to take one day a week every week, the Sabbath, to rest and worship him. Moreover, servants and animals were included in that rest. It shows, Liberty, that God addressed and solved problems humans are still trying to address thousands of years later.
That’s my 2 cents.
September 3, 2018
Every first Monday in September, federal workers and school children delight in a day off that also marks the end of the summer. Many enjoy one last dip in the pool before it is closed, while others watch parades, plan picnics and other outdoor events, ending the day with a display of fireworks. But what is Labor Day and why do we celebrate it?
As America began to grow and form her own identity, inventions such as the cotton gin, the battery, gas lighting, the vapor compression refrigerator, and the Franklin stove began changing her society. As a result, skilled labor started moving from the farm to the factory with the Industrial Revolution fostering a work environment where people worked for others instead of themselves. Labor unions in America organized as early as the Revolutionary War period to challenge wages and work hours. However, once the dispute was settled, the organization usually disbanded. It wasn’t until the Civil War era that labor unions started becoming a staple of America’s culture.
There is a discrepancy as to who truly proposed the idea of a Labor Day celebration to recognize the workers of America. Arguments maintain it was either Peter McGuire, of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, or Matthew Maguire, a member of the International Association of Machinists. Regardless, both belonged to the Socialist Labor Party, a fact Democrats omit while embracing blue-collar workers and labor unions. They also conveniently exclude the racist foundation of unions, which plagued the organizations until the 1960’s.
On September 5, 1882, union members took the day off work to march through New York City before picnicking, hearing speeches and enjoying concerts. However, it would be a few more years before a national holiday was recognized, resulting from the Haymarket Riot. During a labor strike led by Samuel Gompers of the Federation Of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, laborers walked out on May 1, 1886, demanding an 8-hour workday. In response, Chicago’s McCormick Reaper Company hired nonunion laborers to break the line. Two days later, workers attacked police, killing one person. Seizing the opportunity, anarchists immediately blamed the police and organized a workers' demonstration the next day at Haymarket Square. During the event, as police attempted to break up the protest, a bomb was thrown among the officers, killing seven of them and four attendees, creating a riot.
Failing to identify the actually bomber, eight German immigrant anarchists were arrested and convicted of accessory to murder. Five received the death penalty, yet one committed suicide before the hanging. The other three felons remained in jail until Illinois’ Democrat Governor, John Peter Altgeld, pardoned them in 1893, marrying the Democratic Party with violent anarchists. Democrat President Grover Cleveland needed to convince voters his party was the workers' friend without interfering in another ongoing AFL strike. Therefore, he designated a national Labor Day. Avoiding the May 1 date to distance the holiday from the anarchists, he instead selected the first Monday in September. However, Cleveland's attempt to save the party’s reputation failed as Republicans used Altgeld's actions to defeat William Jennings Bryan in 1896, electing William McKinley president.
Two years after the Haymarket Riot, Gompers' organization regrouped, renaming itself the American Federation of Labor, or AFL. He planned another strike for May 1, 1890, to again demand the eight-hour workday. At the same time, a group comprised of socialists, communists and Social Democrats from across Europe, as well as America's Peter McGuire, organized under the name the Second International. Heeding Karl Marx's call for "Workers of the World, unite!", they scheduled protests in several major countries as a show of support for the American unions, as they considered the slain Haymarket anarchists as martyrs. Frederick Engles, co-author of the Communist Manifesto and member of the Second International, memorialized this first May Day celebration proclaiming, "As I write these lines, the proletariat [workers] of Europe and America is holding a review of its forces; it is organized for the first time as one army. The spectacle we are now witnessing will make the capitalists and landowners of all lands realize that today the proletarians of all lands are, in very truth, united. If only Marx were with me to see it with his own eyes!” This is the genesis of Labor Day.
Ever since, May 1 is celebrated as a holiday for anarchists and anti-capitalist movements with observances in countries all across the globe. With names like International Workers' Day, Workers' Day, May Day, and Labour Day, communists, socialists, and Social Democrats gather in remembrance and honor of the Chicago riot. Countries such as Canada followed America’s lead and moved their Labor Day celebrations to other dates in attempts to separate from its foundation. However, anarchists to this day continue to hold protests on May 1 to promote socialism and communism, demand amnesty and higher minimum wages, and rally against Republican President Donald Trump. (see )
LABOR DAY'S COMMUNIST FOUNDATION
Traditional Workers May Day Rally and March, Haymarket Riot Memorial Sculpture, Chicago, Illinois 5-1-18
Photos by Licensing ()