From yesterday’s New York Times, by Steven Greenhouse:
According to the article, David Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman stated on the CBS Evening News that “there could be consequences” if employees did not report for work. The proto-union group called OUR Wal-Mart said Tovar’s statement “constituted an illegal threat meant to discourage workers from exercising their federally protected right to protest.”
You know, take this with my previous post today about assaults on the Voting Rights Act, and you get a clear picture of — and this is such a cliché, I dislike writing it, but it’s so accurate — the one percenters, like the Waltons. These are people who apparently have no grand conscience, no sweeping vision, no basic intelligence about how they should be treating their employees. And these are the same people who get indignant and furious when their “right” to treat employees as 21st century serfs is challenged.
I just came back from New York’s Little India, a/k/a Curry Hill, where I acquired cumin, brown onion seeds and something called kokum. Thus, I passed the huge menacing 69th Regiment armory on Lexington Avenue and recalled what a better history student than I told me years ago.
The armories were built to look like and act like fortified castles. What were they fortified against? Well, paranoia, for one thing. Over the periods during which these armories were built, there was what is always called “unrest,” attributed to “the masses.” The “masses” is us, by the way, and the “unrest” among us was due to being treated miserably by our employers and our elected officials. (Could it be? A collusion between government and corporations? Oh my.)
The masses — that is, the large variety of oppressed peoples in New York, among them factory workers and ethnic groups like the Irish — were in the beginning stages of forming unions and protesting their working conditions.
So local and other governments made plans: when the revolution of the masses came, the top officials, police officers, rich industrialists and army people would escape to these fortresses (which, of course, had plenty of arms and munitions) where they could resist, violently. Resist, that is, us.
Now, do you remember reading about that violent revolution when the masses, en masse, I mean, the majority of the population, rose up and attacked government officials, et al. in their armory fastnesses?
No. Of course you don’t. Didn’t happen.
You would think that after, oh, say, 150 years, educated industrial tycoons (I’m graciously assuming the Waltons, et al. did have some education) would possess enough history to know that resisting the formation of unions could indeed lead to uprisings and such, but that accepting people’s right to protest kind of, sort of evades uprisings. And such.
That is, treat your employees like human beings and they might treat you like human beings. Even though you’ve given very little evidence that you deserve it.
Now I have to figure out what to do with the kokum.