My dad and my Grandpa were both Union guys. When the responsibility he had to his family and their financial well being had him choose to become part of management, I can remember Mom and Dad actually having discussions about whether it was the right thing to do or not. Whether Dad could live with himself moving to the "other side". He eventually did become a part of management and it afforded us a roof over our heads and not a single night where we didn't eat. We may not have had the luxuries others had, but we had the basics and that was good. Dad never forgot his Union roots though. In fact, I can recall us going to the grocery store one week and Dad seeing the picketing check out clerks and he immediately turned out of the parking lot and went to the store down the road.
Dad eventually was forced out, I believe because the Union at the Lyondell/Citgo (now BP) plant in Pasadena TX had been weakened so much that it made it easier to fire him at 50 before he could start drawing a decent pension.
The other part to this is my brother who's gay and I, who is disabled. I have had Cerebral Palsy all my life and when I was younger I was picked on for walking funny and, when my legs gave out, for being in a wheelchair. My brother Byron was picked on for "being gay" even though he wasn't out. I can remember how the bullies ruined his hopes of being a male cheerleader.
So I wanted to post Richard Trumka's "It Gets Better" video. A guy like him, standing up for the little guy, says a lot. Not just to gays but the rest of us as well. And as we go on into our weekends I hope you all will watch it. Give a hug to your friends and family who might be a bit odd or different and enjoy their company while they're here. Let them know they're loved and you support them.
Finally, thanks Richard. My Dad is gone, but I think he'd really love knowing the Union guys are still standing up for the people who need it.
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