Friday, August 12, 2016

We are the Workers of the World

We are the ones who produce everything we need.
I’m talking about food, clothing,
transportation, communication,
health care, education, and even music.

We are the garment workers of Bangladesh.
We’re the Chinese workers who make cell phones.
We’re the Korean autoworkers.
We’re the Vietnamese workers who make running shoes.

We’re the Mexican farmworkers.
In fact, we’re the farm workers of every nation.
We’re also the construction workers of every nation.
We transport goods and people all over the world.

We go deep into the ground,
mining coal in dirty and dangerous conditions,
so some of the people of the world
can have light and live in comfort.

Yes, this is who we are,
and we have a long history.
A history made up of struggles,
so we might be treated with the dignity we deserve.

Spartacus led a rebellion of slaves
against the Roman Empire.
Toussaint L’Overture led a slave revolution
against the Spanish, British, and French.

The native people from all over the world
fought against those who invaded their homeland,
and continue to struggle
so they might live in with dignity in their native land.

The thirteen colonies freed themselves
from British colonization.
Then, the Union Army freed the
United States from a government of slave owners.

Governments demanded that we murder each other
so the affluent would continue to dominate the world.
Then, workers organized in unions,
and waged strikes against those who profit from our labor.

Black workers organized
so they might have citizenship rights
in the nation claiming to have
liberty and justice for all.

Women struggled for decades
just so they might have the right to vote.
They also joined in the struggle to prevent
their children from becoming slaves in factories.

The people of Cuba had a revolution.
They now have a government
that makes human needs the priority.
Today, Cubans have the right to education and health care.

But the owners of corporations
are indifferent to all of this.
They have one and only one priority.
This is their drive to maximize profits on investments.

So corporations and investment companies
spent massive amounts of money
to build factories in nations
where workers are paid two dollars per day.

They may have eliminated hundreds of millions of jobs,
while politicians talk about creating jobs.
The new jobs usually have lower wages
and fewer benefits than the jobs that left the country.

Workers living in nations
where they exist on the knife edge of survival,
risk life and limb for a chance
to work in a nation where they can make a living.

These workers have the worst jobs that few people want.
They have no protection and can be deported at any time.
Corporations depend on these workers,
while they build walls to keep them out.

Then, there is that idea that every worker
thinks about at one or another time in our lives.
This is the idea that things might be better.
Yes, we have the capability to make this a better world.

We produce enormous amounts of wealth
that can be used to eliminate poverty,
end all wars, and work in harmony with the environment.
Yes, we have the potential to stop the destruction of this planet.

We can use sophisticated technology
to make work easier and more rewarding.
Yes, we can expose the myth
that this is impossible.

There are those who argue that the idea
of a workers government is dead.
Half of the world’s population lives on two dollars per day.
They say this is the best we can do.

They tend to forget that the history of the world
has been made up of one continuous struggle
to make life better for the people who live on the planet.
That struggle is continuing.

So for all those who have their doubts,
I have these words.
We are the workers of the world

and we will be heard.

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