Chicago, the city of big shoulders, is a blue-collar town that is strong on the labor front.
The unions are strong in the Windy City and June 6 (the 65th anniversary of D-Day) showed just that when WCPT Radio and the Chicago Federation of Labor held the Salute to Labor at the Operating Engineers Local 399 Union Hall.
The moderators for the event were Dick Kay, of WCPT's "Back on the Beat" and special co-host Ed Schultz, from MSNBC's "The Ed Show" as well as his radio show broadcast on WCPT.
As Schultz discussed the topics with the panel over the live radio broadcast, the enthusiasm from the crowd was apparent, with loud applause continuing throughout the event.
There is no doubt labor has been under attack in the United States for many years. The fact that we even have to discuss this turn of events in the 21st century is indeed a sad commentary on our country. After all, we are a modern industrialized nation and should NOT have to endure what has happened during the past forty or so years.
Unfortunately, after former President Clinton helped enact the North American Free Trade Agreement, labor in this country took a hit.
But NAFTA isn't the only reason for the assault on labor. The Bush-Cheney administration definitely was no friend to labor (in particular organized labor) and did all it could to destroy things in this country's labor force.
Let's not forget Ronald Reagan either. He helped the union-busting effort in 1981 with the PATCO situation by threatening to fire all traffic air controllers if they went on strike.
This just goes to show how the right (especially the radical far right) views things. And their king, Rush Limbaugh is constantly belting out their propaganda on his radio broadcasts.
As the panel discussed health care reform, the attack on organized labor in the United States and the reasons behind it, Schultz took over and stated the obvious truth that too many mainstream (and corporate controlled) broadcasters will not.
Labor unions and labor in general has to organize and fight back after the last eight years in particular.
Truth be told, we here in Chicago, where by the way President Barack Obama comes from, must lead the way and tell the corporate fat cats what the real deal is. They had their time, especially in the past eight years and things have got to change before this country of ours turns completely into a third world nation.
Think about it, a person can lose their health care just because they are out of a job. That is wrong! Why is it that we as a nation, can send billions of dollars over to Iraq and Afghanistan but we can't put together a health care reform bill to help people IN THIS COUNTRY.
After all, the politicians we send to Washington D.C. are supposed to represent us, the tax-paying voters. But they fall prey to the special interest groups and lobbyists that the right always supports.
Take Max Baucus (Democratic Senator from Montana) for example. This guy is in charge of health care reform legislation and he says single-payer option for people is OFF THE TABLE.
Could it be that Baucus is in the back pocket of the insurance giants as they send plenty of loot to his campaigns?
Baucus has received in excess of 4.6 million dollars in contributions during his political career from finance, real estate and INSURANCE interests. No wonder "Mad Max" says single-payer is off the table.
Big Ed Schultz railed on the senator for that one to a rousing applause.
President Obama has the ball in his court and it's his ball. The House and Senate are vastly in the majority of the Democratic party and these guys are still running scared of the GOP.
Start doing things for the American people guys... it's why you were chosen to the positions you have.
Our leaders in government are trusted servants to we the people, they are not dictators to us, catering to every command of the corporations, insurance giants and big oil.
As Obama stated last summer in his acceptance speech in Denver, enough!
Enough is enough and I only hope that if these people in the nation's capital cannot get their act together and do the will of the people, then the American people will take action and vote the bums out.
Only time will tell.
In the meantime, don't let up people. Call your representatives and senators and let them know what the real deal is. America cannot afford any more of this crap.
It is time for change, President Obama, Senator Baucus, Senator Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
You are the majority and the muscle in D.C.
Now get it done.