Once you retire, once you drop out of the rat race, you also drop out of the circle of friends who watched out for your interests. Your colleagues knew what you did, what everyone did, how work progressed with your help, how everyone leaned on each other to be safe and to be productive. You probably had a union that spoke to your bosses on behalf of all people working in that field.
You all looked out for each other. Engineers, scientists, professors and longshoremen are all represented by a union board, people who study work conditions and protect the safety and the interests of the workers.
If you are as old as I am, you probably started to work at a place that had no union.
I remember my first job, a teacher at a Catholic school staffed mostly by nuns, and very few lay folks like me. We, the lay folks were known to be temporary. We would get married in a year of two, so everyone assumed, and then our husbands would watch out for us.
No need to worry our pretty heads.
Women, especially, were seen as temporary workers, waiting to become mothers in residence.
If we complained, we were fired on the spot. If we received unwanted attention for any reason the management deemed improper, we were fired. If we remained quiet and submissive, we continued to work and be tolerated.
I remember well when the first union was formed in Los Angeles Unified School District. The District refused to negotiate and allow unions. We didn't want to strike. We needed our jobs. Many older women didn't want to join the union. Too rowdy and rough, unprofessional, they thought. If you do a good job, they kept saying, you will get a raise.
Women, especially, have found themselves discriminated, and held back.
Women should be worried if unions and legal contracts are exterminated.
Equal pay for equal work is still being discussed today.
There is a great deal of financial instability in our land at this time. And this time, we are thrashing the wrong people, the ones who had nothing to do with our instability. We should be looking at the big corporations who have enjoyed a great deal of tax cuts and who have supported the election of people who will continue to fire at the foot soldiers, the workers in the field, those folks who have worked by the rule of law, who have not shared in the great wealth these corporations have set aside.
Ask yourself, who is watching out for you, the worker, the retiree, the senior who is on fixed income, on a pension that took a lifetime to earn?