I heard one of the speakers at the teabagger rally say the same thing, so, I thought I’d talk to some of the good working people at the MoveOn organized labor rally on the opposite side of the capitol.
….Show Me Progress: …What’s your affiliation.
Rod Herrmann: I’m with the Gas Workers 11-6 out of St. Louis. We represent with Laclede Gas, a public utility.
Show Me Progress: Uh, why are you here today?
Rod Herrmann: In support of unions and all working people. We deserve a fair shake. Uh, feel like, uh, we’re getting railroaded here a little bit and, uh, you know, we want to, we want an honest wage for an honest day’s worth of work. And, uh, it seems like the working man is being pushed down and put back.
Show Me Progress: What does collective bargaining mean to you?
Rod Herrmann: It means a contract with good benefits, good wages. Uh, you know we’re not asking for the world, we’re just asking for what we feel we deserve. Uh, it’s a, it’s a tough situation out there now a days with, uh, being competitive. And, uh, unions, uh, when they bargain, they bargain for safety, uh, productivity, we know, we’re not against any of those issues. And those are what big business wants and we spend a lot of money on training our members in safety and productivity. Something we all want.
Show Me Progress: The group on the other side, uh, uses rhetoric, uh, that sort of labels, um, the people over here. One of the terms that one of speakers said was that, uh, that there are, there are communists over here. Trying to, you know, agitate. Have you run into any communists that you know of?
Rod Herrmann: No, I don’t think there’s a communist in this group. Jimmy Hoffa pretty much sums that up for us in his day, uh, you know, there’s no communists here, uh, they’re basically riding the backside of the union worker that’s blazed the trail, uh, for the future of my kids and my grandkids. Uh, they’re just looking for a free ride.
Show Me Progress:All right. Well, thank you very much for your time.
Rod Herrmann: Thank you.
Show Me Progress: Why are you here today?
Wayne Parsons: To stand up for the, uh, for the people up in Wisconsin. Show ’em that I’m their side, we’re on their side and we believe like what they believe.
Show Me Progress: Um, what does collective bargaining mean for you?
Wayne Parsons: That means, to me, that means you’ve got people that can stand up against the bullies, that they can’t overrun you, and that you can fight for a right to, to, you know, to receive what you deserve.
Show Me Progress: …The, the folks on the other side, um, they use some interesting rhetoric. Uh, they’ve said that, uh, that they think that the communists are, are, uh, organizing this group over here. Have you noticed any communists around here?
Wayne Parsons: Ah, I don’t believe there’s, really, I don’t really believe there’s any communists in America. And one thing about it, we’re all Americans. We’re not communists, we’re not socialists, we’re Americans. We’re people. You know, we want to be free. Communism is not free. We want to be free. We don’t want the rich man to tell us what we should do or not do. We want to be able to, to be free.
Show Me Progress: …Well, thank you very much for your time.
Wayne Parsons: Thank you.
Show Me Progress: Why are you here today?
Chad Smith: Well, standing up for the middle class, for what’s right. It’s just plain common sense really.
Show Me Progress: Uh, what’s your affiliation?
Chad Smith: Uh, IBEW, Local 2.
Show Me Progress: And Local 2 is where?
Chad Smith: In St. Louis.
Show Me Progress: St. Louis.
Chad Smith: Yes, sir.
Show Me Progress: What does, what does collective bargaining mean for you?
Chad Smith: Well, it means my whole life. It means, uh, everything that the middle class has to work for. I mean, without it, you know, you got corporations, they got millions to sit around and have attorneys on retainer and, uh, regular working Americans can’t afford to have attorneys on retainer. And that’s what unions are there for, so, to make a level playing field for everybody.
Show Me Progress: Now, now the folks on the other side use some rhetoric that’s, uh, they think that, that, that this organization over here, this, this crowd here is, uh, basically being prompted by people that have motives, uh, other than what you state. They use the term, calling the people that are organizing this communists. Have you noticed any communists over here?
Chad Smith: I haven’t seen a one. Actually, I , I seen the guys on the south side and, uh, it’s pretty much, you know, basically all I got to say about them is, uninformed voters.
Show Me Progress: Well, thank you very much for your time.
Chad Smith: Thank you.
Bobby Wright: I’m from Local 1887 in St. Louis, UAW. Uh, we came down to show our support for the Wisconsin fourteen and the Wisconsin, uh, public service employees. And, uh, we think what’s going on here’s an attack on the middle class. I think it’s shameful of where our government’s headed. It seems to be organized by corrupt corporate agenda. And, uh, basically I’m just fed up with it. You know, I’m out here, show my support for what’s going on in Wisconsin.
Show Me Progress: Uh, what does collective bargaining mean for you?
Bobby Wright: Collective barg
aining means for me, is that, uh, as a worker on the lowest level we can collectively get a voice on, uh, efficiency and operations within corporations ’cause we are on the front lines of, of their ability to make money. In my opinion, uh, as a union employee we don’t thrive unless the company survives, so we’re, we’re, our best interest is that the company stays involved and, in collective bargaining issues so that we can progress as a, as a community within the corporation. And talking away that right pretty much, uh, leads to what I would call a dictatorial state, not necessarily Democracy. And that’s just my opinion and, and, you know, the way it’s headed I think the more information that gets out there I think we’re headed to a renewed labor movement. And I think it’s best what’s for the middle class. It’s a shrinking conglomerate. And, uh, and any time we can step forward as a society and start to get informed on what goes on at the highest levels I think we’ll be better off.
Show Me Progress: All right, thank you very much for your time.
Bobby Wright: Thank you.
Uh, I don’t think communists wear jackets like these, at the MoveOn organized labor rally on the north side of the capitol:
Those are working people’s jackets.
A right wingnut bumper sticker, on a vehicle parked near the teabagger rally on the south side of the capitol:
There is a distinct difference between the south side and north side groups, eh?