John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
We are about to celebrate Labor Day. In most countries Labor Day is celebrated on May Day (May 1st). In the United States they decided to celebrate it on the first Monday in September. The labor movement has generated for us the 8-hour day, workman's compensation, sick leave, vacation time, rights on your job, unemployment compensation and other such things.
Before the unions got in power, management could just walk up to you and fire you because they did not like you, and not for just cause. If you were sick or injured on the job, you were immediately replaced, and your job no longer existed. If you spoke up for any reason, you were soon replaced by a new worker. Workers were "cheaper by the dozen" with no rights. Go back in history and look up the month of May in 1886, and see what happened to workers in Milwaukee. Women had no rights on the job. They could not even vote. When people went on strike, all of the strikers were immediately fired and replaced. Many people were injured on the job and no longer were able to get any employment.
Be glad that people got together and formed labor unions to help us. Do not let modern government take away our unions and workman rights. It will be like going back to the 1880's. Vote for the people who respect and will defend your right to have unions. We need politicians who will support us and not just their rich friends and financial supporters. We fought for many years to establish the labor rights that we have now. Now is the time to defend these rights and go out and vote in the next election.