Wednesday, March 2, 2011

State Of The Union

With our eyes and ears focused on Wisconsin and other state legislators as collective union bargaining power is increasingly threatened, let's revisit unions and their role in democracy. A year ago you both read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.
"And, for this, at the end of the week, he will carry home three dollars to his family, being his pay at the rate of five cents per hour-just about his proper share of the million and three quarters of children who are now engaged in earning their livings in the United States." Chapter 6

"To Jurgis the packers had been equivalent to fate; Ostrinski showed him that they were the Beef Trust. They were a gigantic combination of capital, which had crushed all opposition, and overthrown the laws of the land, and was preying upon the people." Chapter 29

Also, read about the Triangle Factory Fire of 1911. Do you think labor unions are as important today as they were in reforming the factory at the start of the Industrial Revolution? What about the protests in WI indicates that unions are still considered necessary? Why do you think so many have chosen to protest?

In the coming weeks, as we watch the political events unfold in the state governments, consider any parallels between today's politics, labor disputes, political philosophies, debates, etc, between today's events and what we learn about the Civil War.

Don't worry, we'll have lots of discussion about these topics and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

add this