Punishing Working-Class Heroes

I spent 28 years working as a steelworker and USWA union member.  I never made much money doing that because 23 of those years were concessionary contracts. Our plant had several owners over the years and every one who bought it required concessions from the workers and corporate welfare from taxpayers. I ended up with a ten-year pension, four years stolen (as the owner lied and never paid into it) and a small amount of 401K funds (1% I paid into and 1% my employer paid into).

When my plant closed in 1999 I was to poor and young to retire. I got a job in the public sector, I am a classroom assistant in a school unit for autistic children. It is a spiritually rewarding job but not financially rewarding. The  federal poverty level for a family of four is a household income of $22,050 or less a year. My fellow assistants and I make several thousand a year less than that even when they work a summer program like I always have. Our family is very lucky that Mrs. E works or we’d be in the poor house on my wages.

I will talk about working-class heroes and corporate owned worms in my next post. I’d rather give you an example of some of my fellow, working-class heroes that are under attack by the Ohio Senate Bill 5. A bill that will punish people like the ones I work with that give so much, for so little already. Here is a poem I wrote several years ago to honor them:

Daily Working-Class Heroes

Daily flashes of heroism
illuminated their dedication.
No dollar figure can respect
such humble people
that lessen the pains of the earth.
Fighting the good fight
moving aside all obstacles
to get the job done.
To them giving becomes nourishment
which never fills them up.
For they have bottomless
pockets on their hearts.
They protect autistic children
from life’s cruelties.
Breaking down walls
to give them a future.
Listening attentively and respectfully
to each child’s collage of needs.
Helping them grow up
strong physically and morally.
And growth when dealing
with an autistic child
can be a painful process.
When working with these kids
two words march together:
love and pain.
The pain of
bites and scratches from the kids
and so many bruises
there’s not enough
chocolate to heal.
If God judges people
by their scars these folks
will have VIP suites in heaven.
For they expend all their energy
to satisfy endless needs.
Through toil and moil
strife and struggle.
And they do it with
courage and calmness
and laughter.
When days are really bad
they practice a little math
by subtracting negativity
and adding a little more devotion,
a little more charity
and a little more patience.
For they’re specialists
who cannot be just spectators.
Liberators who’s only fear
would be surrender.
They’re part Gandhi
with the defensive moves
of Bruce Lee.
They’ve found nothing is difficult
when you put your heart into it.
They know that the evolution
of the child
mirrors the evolution
of the race.
Those live longest
who live most.
Long lives and a hug
to you all.

Governor Kasich the above are the kind of people you want to punish by cutting their wages and benefits.  You do this while you give your staff raises? You have no decency.

John Stewart exposes the media and political hypocrites.

Song: US Workers VS. Multi-Billionaires

Sarah Turner: Youngstown

Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task. ~ Haim G. Ginott


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