43 Thought on Unions this Labor Day



In 1992 I was 19 going on 20 and working a great union job that paid $18.83 an hour with a raise after 90 days to twenty-somethings. I don’t remember what the something was because I quit to join the Air Force. 

I blame my cerebral cortex not being fully formed for the bonehead decision. Also, I hated the drive. And the hard work. 

I was also too stupid to realize just how rare good paying, union jobs are.

I should have known better. My dad was able to raise six kids because of a union job. He started out mopping floors on the graveyard shift for the MTA and ended up working in their downtown LA high rise doing payroll. 

Not bad for a guy who dropped out of high school to raise a son. 

That union job kept us moving into slightly better neighborhoods with every promotion. We were never rich, but we were never without. He worked his ass off to stay with the MTA so he could keep me out of the life he grew up in; gangs, violence, just all around shit. 

Living in a right to work state (for another 20 days or so) I realize just how important and precious unions are. 

I thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for unions. 

Anyway, it’s Labor Day and I figured that was the perfect time to praise unions. If you’re lucky enough to be in one, you’re lucky enough.

Copyright 2022 Rudy Martinez
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