Even the fish are embarrassed

In case anyone retained any illusions that the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin was still a legitimate newspaper, the editorial page staff put that notion to rest today. It is, of course, Labor Day, a holiday established to commemorate the accomplishments of the organized labor movement in the United States. On this day we should celebrate hard won victories like a 40-hour work week, paid vacation, safer workplaces which union members struggled and sometimes died to wrest from greedy factory owners. The Binghamton area was well-known as a place where workers were treated fairly by companies like IBM and Endicott-Johnson whose owners recognized their value. So one would expect that on this day, our local newspaper would join in celebrating the progress of the American working person. But no. Instead those publishing the paper ran a nearly full page “guest viewpoint” by Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund, an organization dedicated to destroying the organized labor movement in the US. Cities like Binghamton have suffered tremendously as corporations moved hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs, union and non-union alike to “right-to-work” states in the South where they could pay much lower wages and deny workers benefits that those in the Northeast had come to take for granted. Make no mistake: “right-to-work” means “right to exploit.” Those laws have been instrumental in the destruction of the American middle class, today the smallest and poorest in the developed world. It is shocking and revolting that the newspaper of a city decimated by right-to-work laws should chose Labor Day to run a factually dubious tirade by the president of the organization largely responsible for its decline. If you had any doubts about whether the Press & Sun-Bulletin cares about our community, you know better today.


4 Responses to “Even the fish are embarrassed”

  1. 1 Christine Olson September 1, 2014 at 13:44


  2. 2 Leo Cotnoir September 2, 2014 at 11:22

    Still, there is no question that Labor Day was created by organized labor to celebrate their accomplishments. To try to pretend that this is not so is revisionism. You are right about Johnson but he would not have implemented labor-friendly measures without the threat of union action.

    • 3 Leo Cotnoir September 2, 2014 at 16:39

      In Catholic countries, the equivalent of Labor Day was–and still is in many–May 19th, the feast of St. Joseph, the patron saint of workers. Interestingly, May Day became International Workers’ Day in commemoration of the Haymarket incident in Chicago on May 4, 1886 in which police killed a number of union members demonstrating for an 8-hour work day during a riot following a bombing that was probably the work of anarchists as libertarians were known then.

      Unions in the US have been seriously weakened by the very “right to work” laws that the Press & Sun-Bulletin saw fit to promote. In fact, those laws were enacted by Southern states to lure businesses from the North by allowing companies to exploit their workers. Reagan’s union busting is particularly galling considering that he got into politics as a union leader.

      Labor Day is not the only holiday to have lost its originally meaning. The Fourth of July and Thanksgiving are the only two that are celebrated at all in the spirit in which they were created.

  3. 4 Jonathan Caswell September 3, 2014 at 19:33

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: