Monday, September 7, 2009

Thank the Unions

Whether you like it or not Labor Day is about Unions and the workers in those Unions. Unions brought you the 40 hour work week and paid holidays. Unions brought you medical, dental and other insurance benefits. That said Unions are a dying breed. One reason is that they did their job too well. Business and industry woke up a few years ago and realized that they needed to provide benefits to their workers before the workers would unionize in retaliation.

I have belonged to a few unions. I was in the New York City Police Department's Patrolman's Benevolent Association (PBA) for many years and then was a member of Local 9, Operating Engineer's AFL-CIO in Denver. Operating Engineers are heavy equipment operators. I was a loader operator in a sand and gravel operation, a Concrete Batch Plant Operator in Silverthorne, Strantia Springs near Sedelia in Douglas County and on the oil shale in Parachute Colorado. I poured all of the concrete for the town of Battlement Mesa. All the curb and gutter as well as the City Market and many other private homes. I worked on one of the last Gold Dredges in Colorado near Fairplay as a welder mechanic. That dredge was dismantled and sent to Columbia in South America and is probably working today. I turned down the second half of that job because it would have meant going to Columbia to put it back together. All of this as a Union Operator.

I was instrumental in ratifying the creation of the Union for the bus drivers at the Summit Stage our local bus system.

As a Democrat elected official and State Representative I received a lot of support from all of the major unions in Colorado. Two of the biggest are the Teachers and the Firefighters

We all have a lot of benefits brought to us by unions. Take a minute and thank a union member if you know one. They are getting very scarce.

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