The State House feels a bit like a strike scene these days: the workers and their allies are picketing, and the bosses are trying to force adoption of an agenda that takes decent wages, health care, and retirement security away from workers and their families. Instead of a contract, this fight is about HB 474, the “Right to Work,” which would be more truthfully called “Work Without Rights.”
Once more today, the halls outside the House chamber were filled with union members, clergy, and pro-labor activists who understand that “right to work” is an attempt to drive down standards of living that have been won through countless labor struggles over the years.
Once more, the Speaker of the House realized he didn’t have the votes to over-ride Gov. Lynch’s veto. So once more, the House adjourned for the day without a vote on this issue, and once more the labor community is making plans to return.
During the Steel Workers lock-out at Ravenswood in 1990, Elaine Purkey wrote a song,“One Day More,” to help keep workers spirits up, The refrain comes to mind now:
Fight one day more, one day more. If the company holds out 20 years, we’ll hold out one day more.
Here’s the rest of the lyrics
One day more, one day more,
People let me tell you what we’re fighting for:
We’re fighting for our future, don’t you understand?
And we don’t need your pity, we just need your helping hand.
To fight one day more,
One day more,
If the company holds out 20 years,
We’ll hold out one day more.
If Emmet Boyle things he can win
He’ll get a big surprise,
Cause we’re honest folks and we will
Shut down him down to size.
We’ll throw out the Guards, clean out the yard
Cut that big Boyle down,
But we’ll still be around.
We’ve got to change the way things are,
Make people understand,
Our working class is banking on
The rights in a free land.
Our government lets criminals run free to steal again,
And then takes the jobs of honest working women and men.
Let’s change the laws, remove the flaws
And start all over anew.
Demand our rights, take back our land,
Square freedom through and through.
Keep the scabs out of the White House,
Vote union brothers in,
And then the Feds can’t ever take us off In a ball and chains again.
“One Day More” is recorded on the album, “Classic Labor Songs.” which you can order or download from Smithsonian.