LOATHING LABOR – Marilyn Armstrong

My kitchen floor needs a serious scrubbing. I have put it off for a couple of weeks, vacuuming it regularly and cleaning up dribbles and dropped food when it lands, unless the dogs get there first.

I loathe labor.

Doesn’t everyone?

I don’t mean we all hate our work because some of us loved our work. Continue to love it. I never hated writing, for example, but I hated making indexes. I got exhausted just thinking about setting up a book for publication.

And housework? It’s no wonder men don’t want to do it. No one wants to do it unless they are getting paid.

The un-Christmas house

It’s hard work. It’s thankless because half the time, no one even notices that you’ve been down on hands and knees cleaning that hideous place behind the toilet in the bathroom … or scrubbing off the sticky mess on the refrigerator racks. And before you blink twice, you’ll need to do it again. It is hard and it’s repetitive.

I love when doctors calculate how much work you do, they don’t count housework because “that’s not work.”

They should try doing some of it. Personally. With their own delicate hands. After that, please tell me again how “it’s not work. ”

Today is Labor Day. The day isn’t a celebration of working, but rather a joyous celebration of how Labor Unions, who everyone trashes these days, worked so we could have a five-day week, get safer working conditions, and hopefully take home a paycheck on which we could live.

Ghost of Christmas present

Now that so many corporations have brainwashed workers into thinking unions are merely graft, they should think back to the good old days of Tiny Tim when Bob Cratchit had no days off, no vacations, no sick days, no holidays. And a paycheck so small he could not afford to buy a goose for his family on the holidays.

I’m pretty sure that’s the way we are going — and I’m equally sure that no one is going to like it one little bit.

FOWC with Fandango — Loathe

RDP Monday Prompt: LABOUR

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

28 thoughts on “LOATHING LABOR – Marilyn Armstrong”

        1. But they don’t believe in unions, either. They think somehow it will “be taken care of.” But if they refuse to pay union dues AND they let the government disband unions, there will BE no protection. You can’t have it both ways.

          Liked by 3 people

            1. Not many. Do they even teach it in history class? I don’t think there’s enough time in the school year to study the entire history of the U.S. So some stuff gets cut or glossed over…like the labor movement.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. What’s that saying? “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it” is how it goes I think. In Utah “union” (as in labor union) was and is a dirty word. We have the “Labor Commission” to air grievances in front of…a supposedly unbiased panel of folks who arbitrate labor disputes. And given your examples, unions weren’t a bad thing, not at all. But (IMHO, who has never dealt with any union ever) greed and corruption crept in there too. There was an 80s movie “Gung Ho” about labor unions and how they were indeed corrupt and drove businesses out of business due to demanding more and more and more. Sadly I think the scales have tipped the other way now, with the employer going back to Scroogian practices. I’m glad to be out of that mess personally. But aren’t we, as ‘retirees’ in the fire anyway?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Without the protection of unions — even corrupt unions — you are going to see what you see: longer, harder days at work. Fewer paid holidays, less and worse medical coverage. Corporations are NOT out to protect workers. They never were and never will be. The unions got us holidays, 8 hour days, overtime, medical coverage, and safety in the workplace. Without them? Good luck to the young. They seem to be of the opinion that management cares about them.
      Hah!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I don’t think Utah ever had unions…we were always a ‘right to work state.’ Now oddly, I went to work for one of the largest employers in the whole state (at the time…welcome Adobe, Amazon etc etc…and my old employer is weensy).. and I got a very very good package. Not great pay mind you (I was a woman, it was Utah, it was the 80s and 90s), but I got full medical and dental insurance (good insurance too..not that half assed crap they try to pawn off now), sick leave, and two full weeks paid vacation. Plus half off on tuition because it was the school I worked for. Big University. (not BYU). My brothers used to tell me how lucky I was to have all that (and I was). I never knew until I got out into the private sector, just how good I had it.

        Now one sibling, who has worked for his company for a very long time, is seeing them snip away at the ‘benefits’ of the workers…he was taken from salaried to hourly (which turned out to be a very good thing..the man works 60+ hour weeks), sick and vacation combined into seven days of ‘leave’. He’s 57. He has no insurance (never has), and God help ’em if somebody gets sick. He looks old and worn out. I suspect he feels that way too.

        The country at large (not just the work place) has gone insane. I’m not against Unions per se, as stated never dealt with them. BUt I did go to school with an arbitrator, so I got to hear some of the stories they told (that company had a union, because they were from back East somewhere and their employees automatically had the Union, for good or ill). I don’t think they are a bad thing, and possibly very necessary, especially now. But I’m an old fart. Nobody listens anyway. So we have to listen to one another I think. Great post sweetie!!

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    2. Melanie, I was shop steward for my union for a bit. I got a first hand taste of butting heads with management. Not pretty. They had a “Garry Armstrong clause” in our contract. It didn’t endear me to the suits/management.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Labor unions have gotten a bad rap, such as the movie “Gung Ho” you mentioned. There was a lot of negative propaganda about unions after corruption was found in one of the largest labor unions. But these abuses were used as an excuse to trash unions. Instead, they were replaced with the euphemism “Right to Work” laws – right! Right to work for low pay, right to work without vacation, right to work with no raises. When Wisconsin became a so-called “right to work” state – which was imposed by Gov. Walker and Republican legislature – they busted teachers’ unions and after that the educational system, previously one of the best in the country, has been going downhill. They laid off a bunch of university professors and the campuses were forced to cut programs because less money was allocated for the state’s university system. The “bad rap” unions have gotten was promoted PURPOSEFULLY by those who wanted to get rid of them! And these corporate interests are succeeding all over the United States!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Unions got us the good stuff, and now with them getting trashed, watch how it just goes away. So many people now work “short” schedules — 39 instead of 40 hours so they don’t have to get medical insurance or paid vacation or holidays. Back to the good old nineteenth century.

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  2. Our kitchen floor always looked dirty even when it was clean. I fixed that by laying some ceramic tile that looks clean even when it’s dirty. (problem solved)
    Leslie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Heh heh. I had one of those floors (put down white linoleum….and learned that one does NOT do that, unless they want a dirty floor 24/7)….I wish I’d have thought about ceramic tile (which I now have). So much nicer! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I managed to lay it without a cut. That’s the easiest way. The tiles can be heavy, Marilyn. Better to get someone else to do it.

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  3. The one luxury we haven’t given up is having a cleaning service because neither of us enjoys — or or particularly good at — housecleaning. It’s definitely NOT a labor of love.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. An outstanding post to recognize labor and remember what Labor Day is really about! As for housework, thankfully I’m my own boss and don’t have a manager telling me when, where and how to do it… Dan and I mentioned today that we’re so glad we don’t have to go back to work tomorrow (now that we’re retired), BUT even our retirement pensions are not secure thanks to our representatives and we were labor union members for decades. Here in Maine, the Teachers’ Union went under several years ago and property tax payers now have to cough up the checks. It’s a disgrace. When our current governor took office, he immediately removed all the ‘labor related’ art from the State House–another disgrace. ODD, how it seems that we seemed to be among a small handful of citizens who thought such an act was unacceptable. We also talked about Ronald Reagan and the air controller strike and the breaking of unions a few decades ago. It seems to us that the government is bound and determined to let corporations rule the land of the free and home of the brave (working class). Sad state of affairs. Sharing your post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Here in Illinois, our teacher pensions are secure, but future retirees will not get the benefits we got – or rather my husband did. I didn’t get as many retirement benefits because I worked in the suburban teachers’ retirement system, while he worked in Chicago. Now, because of the long stalemate between the Republican governor and Democratic Congress to pass a budget (which was recently resolved), the state owes a lot of money to state-funded organizations. Younger teachers that I know who are still teaching will most likely not get their full pensions, in spite of the fact that we all paid into these pension plans for all our years of teaching! However, in Illinois teachers still have unions which are fairly strong and we are lucky in terms of retirement benefits. Imagine having to live on nothing but Social Security! In the private sector, Social Security plus whatever savings (such as 401K) plans a person has is what they will have to live on the rest of their lives. And because there are some loud voices claiming that it isn’t fair that some people get pensions while others don’t, they want to use this as an excuse to cut pensions! Not to mention that the GOP in Congress want to cut our Social Security and Medicare, calling them “entitlements.” Yes, retiring workers are ENTITLED to those things because they paid into them their entire working lives!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It really IS a full return to the nineteenth century. But. I don’t think it is going to last. I think sooner rather than later, the kids will suddenly realize they’ve lost everything and start to fight back. I don’t know if I’ll still be around, but it’s bound to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes that is the way we are going. I feel as if all the gains that were made in the 20th century have been lost. Employers feel they can do at they like. One of our Liberal governments brought in “Enterprise Bargaining” and things have gone downhill ever since. There seems to be very little union action about unfair working conditions these days. It’s as if we have all gone backwards and workers are too scared to complain because, unlike when I was first in the workforce jobs are scarce. How did we let this happen?

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  6. I have been laboring the past few days with the vacuum cleaner trying to suck up a nasty flea problem that went from bad to intolerable within the span of about a week. I think I’ve run the thing more in the last 48 hours than I had all of the previous year. Grrrrrrrrr. And unlike last time I had this issue, this time the flea drops are actually working for the cats, so they’re not miserable and the little bastards are all gunning for my ankles since they can’t feast on the cats!

    Like

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