How the GOP betrayed the “Lunch Pail” Republicans…
From the Lunch Pail Republican Website:
“All across America, many life-long Republicans are feeling completely disconnected from their Party and their candidates in Washington. They want their Party to return to the issues that define what it means to be a Republican. We hear you loud and clear. It’s time to take back our party.
Are you a Lunch Pail Republican?
Do you believe in…?
- A strong economy?
- Less government?
- Good paying jobs?
- Less government intrusion in the private sector?
- Employee-sponsored health care?
- Labor-Management cooperation?
If you answered “yes” to 3 or more of the above questions, then you are a Lunch Pail Republican. It’s time to take back our party. We invite you to join us.
Who Are We?
We are Republicans who are focused on providing for ourselves and our families, protecting our rights and our property from intrusion, and keeping our country on a path toward recovery and prosperity. We’re not taking the Party in a new direction. We’re simply returning it to the traditional core Republican values that used to define who we are.
About the Lunch Pail Republicans
Statement of Principles
- We the Lunchpail Republicans believe in building and maintaining an America with a strong economy, unrivaled liberty, and a government that unobtrusively empowers the middle class.
- We believe that the Republican Party has abandoned its traditional principles by advancing an agenda that negatively impacts workers’ wages, benefits and quality of life.
- We believe that the current anti-worker agenda ultimately harms the Republican Party by discouraging middle-class Republicans from voting for Republican candidates whose policies would harm them, or worse, from participating in the election process at all.
- We believe that the interests of workers and businesses are reliant upon each other, and without one, the other cannot stand.
- We believe that elected officials have an obligation to protect workers’ interests as well as corporate interests, and that a growing disparity between the two is harmful to America’s long-term viability.
- We believe that America’s economy is strongest with the presence of a robust middle class.
- We believe that enemies of the middle class exist on both the left and the right, and the middle class must mobilize to remove them from office.
We are the Republicans who are focused on providing for ourselves and our families, protecting our rights and our property from intrusion, and keeping our country on a path toward recovery and prosperity.
We are not being represented.
Too many “Republicans” are far more focused on pushing someone else’s agenda and playing politics to get re-elected than looking out for us, the working people who they are sent there to protect.
Our beliefs are simple.
We believe in freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and most of all, in limited government. Our parents’ and grandparents’ Republican Party would never stand for the type of attacks that are being leveled against working people. We are pro-business and pro-labor because neither one can survive without the other; we will stand with candidates who stand with us.
Hands off our unions.
If we work under a union contract, chances are we are paid better than we would be without it. That means something to us. If a union helps us earn more money to support our families, paying our union a little bit is only fair. We aren’t freeloaders, and we don’t want the government forcing our union to represent freeloaders, because it will just weaken our ability to bring home those better wages.
If you think you have the right to tell any union, business, or independent organization that it has to work for nothing, stop calling yourself a Republican. Stay out of it. It’s none of your business.
We are looking for a few good working men and women.
Too many of our leaders have forgotten what is important to working people, so it is time for them to go.”
The Republican Party has moved so far to the “WACKO-EXTREME” even those that call themselves “Lunch Pail” Republicans can see that the GOP has left them behind. The Republicans wrongfully believe that “EVERYONE” that supports them is either a Corporate Executive, Investor or an Entrepreneur. 1% is 1%…and 1% is not a majority. There are working class Republicans that are increasingly feeling alienated by the Party of Lincoln.
Two years ago, 100,000 Wisconsin residents, working class Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike surrounded and occupied the state capitol. Police, Fire, Teachers and Wisconsin Citizens mobilized in one of the largest labor protests in modern American history. Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to strip public sector workers of collective bargaining rights lifted the veil of the anti-worker agendas of the new Republican leadership.
All across this Nation there are “Blue Collar Working Class” Republicans who are paid through tax dollars. Police and Fire are part of those constituencies. As the Republican Governors focus on breaking their Unions, Police and Fire need to wake up and see the direction the Party is going. The family of a firefighter killed with 18 colleagues while battling a summer wildfire is waging a campaign urging the city of Prescott, Ariz., to provide his survivors with full health and pension benefits. Firemen all across this Country need to ask themselves what are Republican Governors, Representatives and Senators doing to protect the rights of their families. Fire and Police put their lives on the line every day and all they ask in return is that their families are taken care of. Blindly trusting that the GOP has your interest at heart because you are a White Male is misplaced. You need to ask the question, what are you doing for me and my family?
Prescott, which employed Firefighter, Andrew Ashcraft and other members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, says Ashcraft and 12 others who died were seasonal employees, leaving their survivors ineligible for benefits that would go to a full-time employee. State, Local and Federal Representatives need to be pushed to act on “BEHALF” of Police and Fire. What are GOP Representatives in Arizona doing to make this situation right? Andrew Ashcraft gave his life for Arizona, what is Arizona a Red State doing to take care of its heroic firefighters and men in blue? What are the Democrats doing in that State for that matter?
“I want to be able to just be mourning my husband, be supporting my children, be figuring out what our new normal is,” Juliann Ashcraft, Andrew’s widow and mother of their four children, said at a news conference Wednesday outside the Yavapai County courthouse in Prescott. “As shocked as I was that my husband went to work and never came home, I’m equally shocked in how the city has treated our family since then,” she said.
For those Republican Firefighters and Republican Police, these are the words of widow left behind, she represents your wife and your children. Will your wife have to fight this battle all alone, will your children be left to fend for themselves? Is breaking Police and Fire Unions in your family’s best interest?
White “Lunch Pail” Republicans take too much for granted. As the GOP leadership points the fingers at women and minorities, the 1% of “YOUR” tribe betrays “YOUR” interest.
In Detroit an epic battle ensues as workers and pensioners filed suit against Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and state Treasurer Andy Dillon, seeking to prevent them from filing a possible municipal bankruptcy petition for Detroit because, they argue, such a move would violate Michigan’s constitutional protections of public pension benefits. This should be a warning to Police and Fire in every major City, your State Constitutions will not help you and the Republican Governors seem to fighting against the interest of Police and Fire and not for you.
What have the Republicans in the House of Representatives done to “STOP” the outsourcing of good paying American jobs? Nothing! Absolutely nothing, but Corporate America has shipped “OUR” jobs overseas, reaped gargantuan profits and then hoarded those profits offshore. A state of denial exists among Republican policymakers and outsourcing’s corporate champions about the adverse effects on the US. As they outsource our jobs leaving us unemployed, the GOP politicians then call us lazy takers. They expect us to take 2 or 3 low paying service jobs and refuse to pass legislation that would provide a living wage.
In what might be an underestimate, a University of California study concludes that 14 million white-collar jobs are vulnerable to being outsourced offshore. These are not only call-center operators, customer service and back-office jobs, but also information technology, accounting, architecture, advanced engineering design, news reporting, stock analysis, and medical and legal services. The authors of the study note that these are the jobs of the American Dream, the jobs of upward mobility that generate the bulk of the tax revenues that fund our education, health, infrastructure, and social security systems. Ask yourself, what are the “REPUBLICANS” doing to stop this bleeding to strengthen the American Middle Class? Again NOTHING! These are “WHITE COLLAR” jobs, so those of you with College Degrees are not immune from your tribe betraying you either. The 1% are loyal to the 1%, they hoard money, they do not trickle it down to you…that trickle you feel is not money…
“The Department of Labor reports that more than one in three workers who are displaced remains unemployed, and many of those who are lucky enough to find jobs take major pay cuts. Many former manufacturing workers who were displaced a decade ago because of manufacturing that went offshore took training courses and found jobs in the information technology sector. They are now facing the unenviable situation of having their second career disappear overseas.”
What has the GOP proposed to fix this Middle Class concern? Again nothing! The misplaced loyalty that White Males have given to the GOP is being betrayed as they laugh at you behind your back and defraud you with divisive issues, like gay marriage, prayer in school, English only, banning abortion, demonizing minorities, gun rights, LGBT rights and women’s rights. How does any one of those issues improve or strengthen the American Middle Class…the 1% is laughing at you as they pick your pockets clean…there is no loyalty from the 1% to the “TRIBE” their “TRIBE” is the 1% and you are only there to provide the spoils not too share them.
Demand that the GOP acts in “YOUR” interest or tell them to take a hike “Lunch Pail” Republicans!
American Unions….Come Home America!
What is Corporate Management’s dirty little secret? We are human beings! Management are not immune from disliking an employee; from getting angry with an employee; from wanting to get rid of an employee and retribution; from making decisions that are bad for employee’s; profits and productivity are first and foremost our objective.
I became a manager at 24 years old for Southern Pacific Communications, parent of Sprint Long Distance, starting my career with a staff of 30 customer service representatives. The communications industry was changing from year to year, as the divestiture of AT&T and the local phone companies were in full swing to open up the industry to free market competition.
In the 1980’s long distance companies like, Sprint, MCI, Alltel, Global Crossing, Argo Systems, were springing up overnight. GTE bought, SP Communications and became GTE Sprint Communications. Management was called into a meeting and told that GTE would be opening a regional customer service hub call-center in Dallas and that we would be laying off our staff in 6 months. In order to keep our call-center fully staffed until then, we were asked not to say a word to the staff until two weeks before the lay-off. We needed to keep productivity up and keep the staff from looking for a new jobs until then.
I had developed a relationship with my staff, I knew them as peers and as their manager. They would share their lives with me. I knew that some were buying cars and homes, increasing debt, but I could not warn them of the impending lay-offs. They trusted me, but I was management and my job was to make sure the company’s priorities and goals were being met. Did I think it was unfair? I did but I understood my role and did my job. On the day that I announced the lay-off, my staff looked stunned and betrayed, the first question out of their mouth, “How long did you know?”
When you are a manager you see all kinds of characteristic among your management peers, mean, nice, unethical, self-serving, good, bad, productive, lazy, hardworking, truthful, dishonest, harassers and manager’s that are respectful and caring…every human trait is represented. But one thing they all share is their dislike for “UNIONS”. “UNIONS” make it hard to manage. We can’t just fire a Union member. We can’t just lay them off without notice. We can’t harass them with abandon. We can’t fire them because we simply dislike them. We can’t make them work overtime without paying them overtime wages. We can’t treat them unjustly. Because the Union is there to speak for them we need to be mindful of good labor relations.
My advice to non-management staff after 30 years of managing! Unionize! Trusting your job security to a non-union company manager is basically at will, and that is the way “WE” like it. We will tell you that unions protect bad employees and that is unfair to you. We will tell you that those lazy union members make $25 an hour to put seatbelts in cars and isn’t that “unfair” it makes it very expensive to buy cars. We will tell you that your union dues will be used to campaign for “Democrats” and you should be resentful. We will tell you that the unions don’t do anything for you they just collect your dues. I am here to tell you those are all lies that “WE” tell you so that you will not unionize, because selfishly it makes “OUR” jobs harder and it increases labor cost for the Corporation reducing profits to shareholders. Neither of those two objectives are something you should be concerned with because that screws you out of job security and a “LIVING WAGE”.
As union membership has declined; so has job security and with it so has the standard of living for the American Middle Class. Corporate America is there to sell products and services and create profits for shareholders. There are great companies out there that understand the value of their human resources and their affect to the bottom-line, there is no doubt about it. But all too often there are bad managers even at those companies that will not do right by the employee. What about the Human Resources Department you may ask don’t they speak for the employee’s? NO NO NO, we have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the company from suits and liability. Of course that sometime benefits the employee but all too often we protect management first. In a non-union company you are on your own.
When “WE” tell you the downside of “UNIONS” consider the source, we are not objective, we have an agenda and that agenda is profits and giving as much of those profits to shareholders. Unions have done much for the American Middle Class over the last 100 years and don’t let Corporate America or it self-serving CEO’s and management teams tell you different:
1. Founding of the Committee for Industrial Organization, later the Congress of Industrial Organizations or CIO (1938)
After the American Federation of Labor voted against organizing workers “across trades” in a factory, preferring to group workers by individual craft or trade, the CIO and its visionary leader, John L. Lewis, recognized the potential power of mobilizing workers across occupational lines in a given industry. The approach opened the union door to what would become labor’s core constituency — mass production workers.
2. Passage of the Social Security Act (1935)
This New Deal legislation provided workers with unemployment insurance, aid to dependent children and rehabilitation for the physically disabled. It also improved public health and provided pensions to workers in their old age. Today, AFSCME is leading the fight to strengthen and preserve Social Security — a benefit to some 44 million people.
3. National Labor Relations Act (1935)
Also known as the “Wagner Act,” this law served as the foundation for current U.S. labor law, granting unions the right to organize and obligating employers to bargain collectively on hours, wages and other terms and conditions of employment. AFSCME has used the NLRA to secure collective bargaining rights for workers across the country.
4. GM Sit-Down Strikes (1936-37)
Anti-union sentiments in the fledgling auto industry in the 1930s triggered a sit-down job action by 50 workers at a Fisher Body plant in Flint, Mich., an action that inspired similar strikes by 485,000 auto workers across the U.S. and Canada in an 8-month period. The Flint strike lasted 45 days, with strikers winning a five-cent-an-hour raise and an agreement by management to rehire the strikers and recognize the union.
5. Civil Rights Act/Title VII (1964)
This landmark legislation prohibited discrimination by employers or unions on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion or gender. AFSCME’s unprecedented growth in the 60s and 70s was due in large measure to the union’s reputation for fighting for fair treatment for all workers, but particularly minorities.
6. Public Sector Organizing (1962-1980)
In 1962, President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988, which recognized the rights of federal employees to join unions. This order spearheaded the rapid expansion of all public sector organizing. A key event of this period was the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., killed while in Memphis on behalf of striking AFSCME sanitation workers.
7. Fair Labor Standards Act (1938)
The FLSA granted sweeping protections to workers — establishing a minimum wage (25 cents an hour) and the 8-hour work day, providing for overtime, and prohibiting the use of child labor in all businesses engaged in interstate commerce. Despite breaking important ground, the FLSA excluded large numbers of workers, not the least of whom were public service workers.
8. “Bread and Roses” Strike (1912)
This sometimes violent strike at a Lawrence, Mass., textile mill was named for the song sung by strikers determined to win more than a subsistence life. The strike became synonymous with the struggle of workers to better their working conditions.
9. World War II Support
The trade union movement that was beginning to flex its collective muscles at the end of the 30s put those same muscles to work on behalf of the war effort. And, like the patriots they were, American unions pledged not to strike and received no-layoff concessions for the duration of the war.
10. Occupational Safety & Health Act (1970)
Providing a safe workplace had been a primary goal of the labor movement since its inception. Many years later, President Nixon — a conservative Republican — was convinced to sign the first comprehensive federal legislation covering safety in the workplace. Unions work daily to enforce OSHA’s regulations, and also to expand and refine safe protections for all workers.
Practically ALL the benefits you have at work, whether you work in the public or private sector, all of the benefits and rights you value are there because unions fought hard for them against Corporate America who did everything they could to prevent giving you those rights. Many union leaders and members even lost their lives for things we take for granted today.
The demonization of Unions was a strategy to bust the Unions so that “WE” the Executive and Management Teams could reap the benefits of “AT WILL” working conditions, increasing productivity without impunity, taking your pensions, reducing your healthcare benefits, raiding 401k company stock and taking those profits for “Ourselves” in the form of outrageous bonuses, CEO salaries and “Shareholder” payouts. American Unions are not the enemy, 30 years of a right wing agenda focused on management priorities and bottom-lines profits have only served to hurt the American worker and your standard of living. It is time to come home America…Unions are good for American Labor… Look for the Union Label…