Class Warfare Blog

May 2, 2013

May 1, May Day, International Workers’ Day (An American Invention)

Chris Hayes (All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC) last night provided some details about the industrial building, home to many garment factories, that collapsed in Bangladesh recently killing at least 400 people. The details supplied were that the multi-story building was built on swamp land, that three more stories had been added without permits, that is illegally. It was known that the day before the collapse cracks opened in some walls, explosively so. An engineer was called in who after inspecting three support pillars of the building recommended immediate evacuation. This was not done and workers who reported for work the next day saying they didn’t feel safe going in the building were threatened.

Mr. Hayes pointed out that the right to work in a safe workplace, the right to have workplace representation, the right to complain without repercussions were not rights that were granted, they only came from struggle.

And that’s how International Worker’s day was highlighted.

What the Bangladeshis experienced is not far removed from the dangers faced by workers in a West, Texas fertilizer plant. Did they know they were working in an unsafe workplace? Did they have a right to know that?

One must ask who is on the other side of this “struggle?” Who is against safe workplaces, fair wages, and reasonable representation? Why, in this country, are they the same people who want to make guns more available to criminals and mental defectives? Is the message that to achieve such reasonable goals will require armed conflict? Is it similar to the Congressman who stated “If babies had guns, there would be no abortions?” Is it “If workers had guns, they would be treated with respect?”

We have been down this road before.


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