NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Saturday June 24th 2017

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Union Pride

By Peter Molenaar

UNION PRIDE MEETS NATIVE PRIDE, this is the frontline caption seen in the August issue of The St. Paul Union Advocate.

From the article:

“Participants in a unique pre-apprenticeship program co-sponsored by the Cement Masons and area tribal authorities, worked in silence, heads down, as their instructors barked orders…’Let’s go, you’ve got to pick up the pace,’ Local 633 apprenticeship instructor Moke Eaglefeathers warned…”

Historical note:

A visit to the Interpretive Center at Fort Snelling State Park will reveal the family names of the 1600 innocent Dakotas, interned in the concentration camp of 1862.  Innocent?  In fact, many had risked their lives to save White settlers.  For their reward, they received the ‘collective punishment’.

Are there White workers who fail to recognize a Native man’s right to walk where he walks?  Do some whine about treaty rights and every other expression of Native sovereign “privilege?”  Oh, yes.  However, Organized Labor is working to lift these elements above the level of Donald Trump.

Page 3, Union Advocate, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka states:

“Philandro Castile was a union member, and so his family is our family…Labor cannot and will not sit on the sidelines when it comes to racial justice.”

Then seen below these words, a photo image captures a rally of the American federation of Teachers – their banner reads:  Teachers4BlackLives.

Now turn to the Minneapolis Labor Review, July 29th issue, Chelsie Glaubitz Gabion, President of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation writes:

“We are facing a surge in dangerous discriminatory rhetoric…the very values we share as workers are under attack…”

Chelsie concludes:

“Throughout history, the labor movement – at its best – has grown by bringing together workers of all races, faiths, and nationalities to work together in our unions in common cause for social and economic justice.  In 2016, this historic cause remains our highest calling.”

I believe that all which is blessed, flows from this call for unity.

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