I am employed by the City of Philadelphia-Records Department. I’m one of those municipal workers accused of bringing cities and states to financial ruin by our allegedly generous benefits, such as health insurance and pensions. These wonderful things were not handed to us; they were won through the dedicated work of workers organizing into unions for their benefit, and for future generations of workers, as well as their families.
More after the jump.
I work among fine people who care about their families and their community; we are not some alien life force from another planet, we are your neighbors and fellow Philadelphians, who also worry about paying bills, purchasing groceries, and getting the kids to school. For over three years, Mayor Michael Nutter has displayed arrogance by refusing to negotiate a fair contract, and in that time we have not received increases in raises or increments in pay, and we have to now pay for health insurance, out of our own pockets, and that is NOT a luxury. ( am also for a national health insurance system, but that’s another article.) Thus we are also squeezed tightly financially, no matter what the corporate media lies about.
Two-bit politicians and their corporate enablers try to put the blame for state and municipal financial problems on the so-called union contracts, and they use the financial problems as an excuse to break the unions. People are being taught by local corporate media to go along with this lie, to make governmental workers, like teachers and firefighters, are their enemy, not their fellow taxpayers. Fortunately, workers from other professions are allying themselves with municipal and state workers, as was shown in Wisconsin.
We, the terrible municipal “union thugs,” are the people who pick up your trash, keep the streets clean, keep the drinking water sanitary, inspect restaurants to keep in the food you eat is safe, AND-when worse comes to worse-drive the ambulances that takes you to the hospital, police your streets, and and put your fires out; all of this was on display in recovery work after Hurricane Sandy. I urge you to support state and municipal workers as we fight for our slice of the American Dream, for ourselves and our loved ones.