Media Center

It’s time to fight for a real Independence Day

Americans really know how to celebrate Independence Day – the “Fourth of July,” and this year was no exception. Millions flocked to parades and fireworks displays all across the nation. I’m sure it was much the same for our northern members on Canada Day, as well.

That’s all well and good.  But, I’m beginning to wonder how much longer we’ll have something to celebrate.

Everywhere I look I see citizens losing their independence.  They’re losing their ability to have any say in the services government is supposed to provide.  They’re losing the ability to defend themselves against unfair treatment on the job.  They’re losing the ability to find a secure job with a living wage, and they’re losing the retirements they worked all their lives to acquire.

Losing the right to vote

In the U.S., the poor, persons with disabilities, and the elderly are effectively losing the right to vote.  And a permanent underclass of working poor continues to grow as wage earners fall out of the middle class.

Corporatism is the incorrigible force that is devouring so much of the world’s wealth that governments must go, hat in hand, begging private businesses to deliver the services people expect the public sector to provide.

And when private enterprise takes over public services, public services become the servants of private enterprise. The public good is a secondary consideration. Slowly, corporations that we have no control over begin to govern our lives.

In the transit industry multinational corporations are taking over more and more of our properties.  These parasitic conglomerates pay miserable wages, and provide unacceptable, unsafe service so that they can send as much of taxpayers’ money overseas.

How is that different from the way the British imposed unfair taxes on American colonies before the Revolution? There really is no difference between the tyranny of a foreign multinational and the tyranny of a foreign government. The result is the same – poverty for more and more people.

This grim outlook may seem a little outlandish to some, but in what other way can the foreign takeover of our public assets and treasuries be characterized?

It’s time to fight back

Corporations worship at the altar of the “free market” which is anything but “free” – as it is controlled by the monopolizing forces of globalization. Thus, the “market rate” is kept artificially low and any real competition is forced out.

Amazingly, we are called unpatriotic when we question any of this. Those who think that workers should be paid more than the abysmal wages dictated by the market are called socialists – which, whether it’s true or not, marks them as an enemy of all that is good and holy.

Have you had enough? I know I have. It’s time to fight back.

In these pages you’ll see multiple examples of ATU members doing just that.  I hope they will inspire you to get involved in the fight in your community.

You see, we’re not just fighting for our jobs – we’re fighting, as we always have, for independence.