Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed when he traveled to Memphis and was there to support sanitation workers in their attempts to gain justified benefits and pay. He was defending the middle class worker in addition to being a part of the more widely known Civil Rights Movement; the two are not mutually exclusive.
Fast-forward almost 50 years and the middle class worker is under attack. While corporate greed runs rampant throughout the country, Americans have been misdirected their ire to middle class employees and public workers. Consider these facts presented by Robert Reich in an article titled “The Shameful Attack on Public Employees”:
- Wall Street bonuses are higher than ever (even before the bailout),
- Corporations are reeling in record profits,
- Loopholes in the tax codes exist specifically for hedge-fund managers and private-equity managers,
- 48% of public workers have college degrees compared to 23% of private employees, and
- public workers–even considering benefits–make 11% less than their equally educated private sector counterparts.
Remain vigilant. Do not allow cuts to your salaries, benefits, pensions, and work environments go unchallenged. Speak to your legislators, e-mail them, text them, and call them. Tell them your stories. Make them listen to you. You vote and your family votes.
You have power. Use it.