When America was being founded, any and everyone who could get here, got here. Some came here out of desperation, narrowly escaping plagues and famine, while others came here hoping to experience what had been rumored – that American streets were paved with gold. Some migrant workers came equipped with a trade or craft that they specialized in and other migrant workers came with nothing more than a strong work ethic – ready and able to do whatever was necessary to make it in the new world – America.
Discrimination in America, believe it or not, did not start with African slaves. Before African slaves became Black and European slave traders became white, Irish migrant workers were the target of just about all discrimination. When the Potato Famine hit, droves of Irish poured into America hoping that things would be better. Instead, they were greeted with signs that said, “No Irish Need Apply.”
Before the Irish arrived, other countries had already settled in. The Germans were here, along with the French, Portugal, and more. Industrial trades and the meat packing industry were rapidly taking shape. Work conditions were atrocious. Days were long, wages were low, and children were put to work in the same fashion as adults. When the Irish arrived, fleeing the circumstances they were, with the attitude they were going to do whatever it took to get ahead it wasn’t long before bosses realized they could get more for less out of the Irish. From there it wasn’t long before other groups would realize their jobs could potentially be at stake.
With all of that said, unions initially started as a response to non-Irish migrant workers wanting to secure employment and also to combat unsafe work conditions. In these days people would lose a finger in a saw, wrap it up and continue working; In these days people literally died on the job. These were also the days when the Irish were at a gross disadvantage with more than half of the population coming from Europe. If you didn’t know, the history between Europe and the Irish has never been good. As a matter of fact, when the Potato Famine hit, Europe could have helped Ireland. It was a critical situation and Europe offered little to no assistance whatsoever, leaving the Irish with no choice, but to migrate.
I never cared to think about unions before, but with this #SeptaStrike hovering like a dark cloud over tomorrow, I want to put it out there – I don’t like them. Labor unions could be good if they didn’t protect people from shit they don’t need to be protected from. How about a tenured teacher who’s kids always fail? How about a painter who is receiving Worker’s Comp for an accident in the workplace or on site, but they still pick up side jobs? How about the Septa bus driver who slammed my bookbag in the door trying to speed off from a stop in order to not pick up a man who was running with his baby? Do these people deserve to be fought for?
How about the time this guy was beating the shit out of his girlfriend at Frankford Terminal and a bus driver on a bus that was not in service pulled out her cell phone and recorded the whole ordeal. The cops came and she didn’t even offer a statement, she kindly put her phone away and drove off. Does she need a union rep to fight for a raise for her? Wait!!! How about the time a boy was playing in the tracks so they suspended service. They told us to go downstairs to wait for shuttle buses. Three train loads of passengers sent to wait on shuttle buses that never came. When I called the customer service line, turns out no shuttle buses were ever dispatched, all of the trains were actually running on the same track and we could all go back upstairs. Administratively, Septa sucks, so what are union reps really trying to get for these Septa people?
When Septa’s union reps find themselves at the gates of hell, I really hope they understand what happened. You cannot represent people who ain’t shit and then expect to get a reward or to NOT be held accountable for your life’s work! Septa is the worst organization I have ever experienced in my life. To know they have people who advocate for them is so far-fetched to me, I cannot wrap my head around it.
Septa is threatening us with a strike. I swear, I blame the City of Philadelphia for allowing a rogue organization such as Septa to have the upper hand. The last time Septa went on strike the city was crippled for days which the city was not in a position to have been and till this day is not in a position to be. This dumb ass city doesn’t have any money. It’s like who the hell is the mayor? Is Septa our mayor or is Septa the mayor’s boss? How do you run a city with an organization in it that can wreak havoc on the city’s budget whenever they see fit? Why even argue with Septa, Philadelphia? It’s clear, Philadelphia, that your punk ass is fine with an organization having you by the balls and treating the citizens of the city like shit – why not just give them what they ask for instead of this stupid game that you aren’t fit to win.
*The Mayor, by the way, has actually removed himself from Septa negotiations which is super disgusting of him.*
This is clearly not New York. I remember when MTA decided to go on strike. The city said, “Oh hell no! If you go on strike, we are taking you to court!” Union reps sanctioned the walk out and were summoned to court, as a result. The “strike” lasted a day.
There is another thing that is bothering me to my soul. If Septa is going on strike, why isn’t the regional rail being affected? The blatant discrimination in Philadelphia is borderline overwhelming. If Septa is going on strike, why is it only the inner city being affected where the people are poor and need Septa the most? Most people cannot get to work without Septa. These are the people who actually cannot afford to miss a day of work, these are the people who do not have paid-time-off, the people who don’t have money to take Uber, taxis, or the regional rail to work. These are the people who paid a bill on Friday and can hardly afford tokens this week. What type of people work for Septa? What type of people would rob the livelyhood of people who genuinely don’t have it, to pad their pockets which are already full, and going forward there is no talk of customer service reform or how they treat the inhabitants of the city. AND WHAT TYPE OF ASSHOLE WOULD ACTUALLY STAND BY THEIR SIDE, CHEERING THEM ON, REPRESENTING THEM IN THEIR AGENDA?
I am desperate to hear from readers on this matter … I usually do not beg for engagement, but this is so nutty to me! Please take a moment to like, share, or comment below.
Dear Septa’s Union Reps:
I will pray for your mercy, for you know not what you do, though according to the book of Hosea, not knowing doesn’t save you from the wrath of hell.
“References” Disclaimer: When it comes to the brief history of unions and how they came to be, that information is a combination of logic and speculation. I learned a lot about Irish History in an English 101 class. The professor was Irish and we had 3 readings. One was about the meat packing industry, another I forgot and the last was a book about The Godfather of Detective work who was Irish. In general, I read a lot, I listen a lot, and I think a lot. While I believe that you can believe all of what I said, you should always do your research when sources are not cited as they are not in this post.
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