Sunday, December 13, 2009

Caveat Lectores on David Anders

Below is a response to an Email I received from Brother David Anders. He was sharing some labor history. There is not much good labor history in North Carolina, particularly for public employees. David is the President of Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics of North Carolina. He is from Asheville, NC. My family lived in Asheville for about a year in the late 60’s. It was a wonderful place. I have met him only once, but it feels like we are brothers. His leadership has made a positive impact on a very sad labor situation in North Carolina that may be changed soon. Below is the link to some interesting facts about North Carolina that should not be ignored.


My apology for not responding sooner but I was on the road and just got things under control enough to pay attention.

It has long troubled me that there is a virtue in business using everything in its power for profit, but it is unholy for workers to prosper. Business leaders are lauded by many even when their profits are unconscionable but they have not been caught (yet) breaking the law. When they are caught, their punishment is miniscule compared to the economic and social damage they have caused. They serve their time and spend what is left of the ill gotten gain after a limited prison sentence and/or fine. Legal fees can be considered a fine that comes pre-conviction. The politicians never suggest that we should completely do away with businesses and entrepreneurs just because some are illegally greedy.

When there is an allegation or even hint of union transgression (frequently meaning power), suddenly it is corruption to the max and racketeering that can only be solved by dismantling the rights of workers to stand up to the greedy bastards who caused the need for the union in the first place. But then... maybe I am a little less than objective because I was raised in a company mill town under the thumb of the Bossman. We called him Uncle Charlie.

I served my time in North Carolina. I love the place. My heart's in Carolina but I am in permanent exile. Somebody would end up lynching my ass because I could never keep my mouth shut. I am sure many of my relatives were glad to see me leave and they are family. Racism and anti-worker sentiment is bad enough in Florida to keep me on the edge of a stroke daily. NC would get me killed.

When I lived in Kannapolis, NC, I knew (or cared) nothing about organized labor because of a virtual blackout of information except the bad stuff. My education and early career experience were totally management oriented. It was only after my station officer handed me a union card and told me to join the IAFF, unless I wanted my back up in a fire to hate me because I was too cheap to join, that I began to enjoy the benefits of a brotherhood that serves me to this day. He was from Flint, Michigan and a union man all his life. The fire chief was a steelworker in his early years. It made me feel very good to know that my hometown fire department is now IAFF. You can bet their chief once had an IAFF sticker on his truck too. When I go home soon, I will stop and remind him.

But then that's just my opinion. BTW NC is no worse than many other areas of the country. I did spent a week in northern CA recently and was not barraged by the daily hateful conservative, anti everything progressive mantra that exists in the south.

Please share the sweet poison I write in the Caveat Lectores blog with your members. They may learn something they do not want to know.

And oh yes, have a nice day?


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