Labor Rights Are Human Rights

Yes, Happy Labor Day

Should Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul all agree that we have the right to band together to fight for decent wages and benefits for working Americans and their families?

I think so.

And yet, in many parts of the US firefighters and paramedics are denied that fundamental right of association by legislators and employers who use harassment, intimidation and fear to keep us from working together.

What Are They Afraid Of?

It’s hardly a secret that union membership, and unions generally, are the weakest in the south.

It’s that plantation mentality.

They had free labor for so long that they still can’t bear the thought of paying workers a fair wage for honest work.

The best way to “keep’em down” is to deny workers the rights they need to assert equality.

The places with the least protections for workers and the weakest rights for unions have the lowest pay, by far.

Firefighter Wages and Union Rights

The farther you get away from the “keep’em down” south, the better off you are.

Firefighter wages in the south lag an average of 29% behind other US regions.

Wages are 47% less than the northeast.

And 28% less than the west.

The average southern firefighter wage, including the regional behemoth Florida, is just $36,000 while northeast pay is $53,000.

It pays to be union and to fight for union rights.

The IAFF Challenge

Speaking of the south, and in this 50th anniversary year of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, we need to acknowledge that our profession has become more diverse and we are the better for it.

If it takes an “army” to fight and win rights for working men and women, we need every soldier we can get.

Our union must be for everyone and we must respect each other in order to be effective in the battles ahead.

The struggle has always been state-by-state, province-by-province both to win and then preserve the rights of labor.

We’ve been doing it for 96 years.

Let’s do it for 96 more.

Say “Happy Birthday” and “SHARE” this Message.

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  • David Barbour says:

    Thanks for reminding us that Labor Day is about more than going to Walmart, which we shouldn’t do anyway.

    David B.

  • Tom Anderson says:

    You’re not helping the cause here, brother.
    The reason our members are reluctant to join the International is because of the straight-line Democratic voting on “our” behalf, your extravagant “conventions” in paradise (like Hawaii) that we can’t afford to go to, and the lack of initiative in coming here to represent “us.”
    What you’re doing doesn’t work, but “we” need to change? “We’re” stuck on plantations? “We’re” the ones who are doing it wrong by volunteering?
    By most of “our” reckoning, you’re no different than big government and bureaucratic fat cats dictating to us.
    The change needs to come from your end, sir.

  • Firefighter Paramedic says:

    Proud to be union! IAFF Strong! I will only cross a picket line if there is someone injured or a fire on the other side. I do my best to buy from union stores and products made in the USA. To the volunteers, you are part of the problem. It’s real hard to get a decent wage when there are people trying to do your job a few towns away for free. Volunteers are good for 2 things. Keeping someone out of a job and saving basements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Comments
Dave Statter
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
Not selective outrage. Just making sure my outrage is focused on where the real problems are. The lieutenant is a personnel issue. The OUC problems are systemic. This call failed before the lieutenant ever knew about it. Now, in the Rhode Island Avenue, NE case the situation was reversed. My focus then was on the…
2015-07-30 22:01:47
Dave Statter
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
I have no problem giving DCFD hell when they deserve it Eric. That lieutenant needs attention based on what is written in that report. I urge you to listen to the interview with the interim head of OUC, Chris Geldart, by Mark Segraves today. He excuses the delay in sending the Cuesta call to dispatch…
2015-07-30 21:49:53
Eric Lamar
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
And those are your questions and comments after reading that report? DCFD is glad you save your (selective) outrage for Fairfax officials. BTW, I agree with you on Fairfax.
2015-07-30 15:18:34
Dave Statter
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
Eric, have you ever read the inspector general's report on Durand Ford? The report said the staffing shortage was not a rank and file issue but a problem with management. Also, did you notice that EMS 5 was not staffed during the Cuesta call?
2015-07-30 14:54:32
Victoria Huckenpahler
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
They have clearly been sticking to the letter of the law, and not its spirit. Disillusioning, not to say shocking.
2015-07-30 14:50:55
IAFFLogo
September 2014
M T W T F S S
« Aug   Oct »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

LATEST FIREFIGHTER NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS

LATEST ON FIRE ENGINEERING

FEATURED DISCUSSIONS