Saturday, July 2, 2011
Standing United Isn't For Pussies
They will never get why a union "brotherhood" is so real to the millions of men and women in U.S. unions.
In 2001 over 300 firefighters were tragically killed on September 11th. Since then more than 900 first-responders have died from digging through the wreckage and breathing in the toxic air that that NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani said was okay. Thousands continue to have health related issues stemming from that exposure.
Republicans in Congress attempted to block legislation for years to provide health care for the men and women suffering from debilitating illnesses and when they did begin to concede they wanted to screen the applicants by clearing them through the terrorist watch list first. Klassy.
Who do you suppose fought and lobbied on their behalf for years? That's right - their unions. After Mr. and Mrs. Teabilly moved on to rally against a black president and replaced their "United We Stand" bumper-sticker with "Nobama", the unions were still fighting on behalf of the members and their families.
So, Oak Creek fireman, Matt Gorniak made a float as a tribute to the fallen 9/11 firemen a few years ago and that was nice. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 he wants to revive it and put it in the Racine 4th of July Parade and that's also nice. Good for him.
However as a guy - the only guy - who opted out of Fire Fighters Local 321 union, his colleagues see him pretty much as a dick. Oh he get's a nice new fire station and all the niceties the union negotiated and paid for, but at a fraction of the cost. Uncool.
Gorniak has cleverly used the media to make his case that's he is just a patriot and his union member colleagues are a bunch of America hating thugs. Except Local 321 didn't say he couldn't have his float or even invite other fire fighters to join him. They just said they weren't going to spend resources on it...just like he did when he decided to opt out of the union.
See, standing united isn't just for parades, it's and every day kinda thing.