This Is What Democracy Looks Like

People are taking to the streets for workers' rights and for gun control. On April 27 at 3 p.m. there will be a rally for gun control outside 2100 Roosevelt Avenue in Springfield. The event is being organized by a group that has a web site at www.PioneerValleyProject.org.

On April 20 in Greenfield, about 150 people attended a rally for gun control. On the same day in Keene, about 70 people attended a rally for gun control.

As of April 24, more than 60 people had RSVP'd for a march in Northampton that's set for May 1 at 5:30 p.m. The march is being organized by the local chapter of Jobs With Justice (JWJ) and other groups. According to the JWJ web site, "Unions play a vital role in the workplace by creating a mechanism for employees to formally have a say over their pay, benefits, and working conditions."

On average, workers in the USA make 27 percent higher wages when they join a union. That's according to www.bls.gov.

Most union contracts say workers can only be fired for "just cause." Non-union workers can be fired at any time for no reason.

Millions of workers in the USA are union members, including all the workers at UPS, UMass Amherst, the Brattleboro Retreat (900 or so workers), and the food co-ops in Northampton, Greenfield, and Brattleboro. The Brattleboro co-op has about 160 employees.

The middle class in the USA is disappearing. There are more rich people and more poor people than there have been since the 1920s. This allows billionaires more influence over politicians. Unions are one way to expand the middle class and increase democracy.

More information about the upcoming event in Northampton is at:

www.facebook.com/events/2031172560486296

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