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Randazzo Insults Workers with Plagiarized Castration of Labor Day

Last updated on 2013.02.04

Ed Randazzo injects some predictable anti-labor propaganda into this Labor Day:

Today we celebrate the American worker — not the union bosses who compel workers to pay them tribute as a condition of employment.

It's vital we counter the Big Labor propaganda machine that uses Labor Day as an excuse to demand even more power over workers [Ed Randazzo*, "Celebrate the American Worker Today," The Right Side, September 3, 2012].

I star the author citation, because Randazzo plagiarizes this text from various rightwing mouthpiece blogs:

Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker — not the union bosses who compel workers to pay them tribute as a condition of employment.

...It's vital we counter the Big Labor propaganda machine that uses Labor Day as an excuse to demand even more power over workers [Mark Mix, "National Right to Work—Our Labor Day Message," a12iggymom's blog, September 3, 2012].

No citation from Ed to signal he's filching text, no links to the original source... too bad Ed can't labor to write something original on Labor Day. It's almost as if the Koch brothers were paying people to rebroadcast this stuff....

Ed's as dishonest about his authorship as he is about his praise for labor. He offers empty praise for workers while belittling the struggle workers must wage to win their due compensation. Labor organizations (yes, unions) started Labor Day to celebrate that struggle and the social and economic gains workers have made.

Yes, fundamentally, we celebrate labor as the indispensable force of the economy. If workers didn't show up each day and bust their backs, all the hot air from Mitt Romney's "job creators" and wealth-worshippers would mean nothing.

But labor unions and Labor Day exist because busting their backs wasn't enough for workers to win the fair compensation they deserve for building the economy. With all the wealth and power in their hands, the owners and bosses worked men, women, and children to death. They squeezed workers for all the effort they could get, paid them pennies, and discarded them like broken machinery. Only when workers organized, when they formed unions, could workers counter that power, protect themselves from abuse, and win basic worker rights that we take for granted now, rights like an eight-hour workday and overtime pay, pensions, workplace safety, and leave to take care of the people they are working for—no, not the bosses, but their families and loved ones.

In the happy world of big-money-excusers like Ed Randazzo, workers shut up, do what they're told, and just be thankful they have a job (yikes: sounds like South Dakota!). Those corporate flacks want to make Labor Day impotent, a vague paean to hard work disguising the Koch-Romney-corporatist efforts to undermine worker's rights.

But workers don't get what they deserve just by working. They have to fight for their rights. That fight—its past successes and its imperative present battles—is what labor unions and Labor Day are about.


  1. Jana 2012.09.03

    One of the better Labor Day reads:

    "From 1948 to 1973, the productivity of all nonfarm workers nearly doubled, as did average hourly compensation. But things changed dramatically starting in the late 1970s. Although productivity increased by 80.1 percent from 1973 to 2011, average wages rose only 4.2 percent and hourly compensation (wages plus benefits) rose only 10 percent over that time, according to government data analyzed by the Economic Policy Institute."

    "In 2006, the year before the Great Recession began, corporate profits garnered the largest share of national income since 1942, while the share going to wages and salaries sank to the lowest level since 1929. In the recession’s aftermath, corporate profits have bounced back while middle-class incomes have stagnated."

    "Today the prevailing cut-to-the-bone business ethos means that a company like Caterpillar demands a wage freeze and lower health benefits from its workers, while posting record profits."

  2. Donald Pay 2012.09.03

    Most people don't know that Labor Day was an idea that was first pushed by South Dakota labor unions.

    In the 1930s milk wagon drivers in Sioux Falls and other larger towns were forced to work 70 to 80 hours per week, 7 days per week. After a fairly long and intense battle, which included the first and only strike of milk wagon workers in the United States, they won contracts at most of the Sioux Falls employers. They then went on to topple the anti-union mayor.

    The history of labor in South Dakota is very interesting.

  3. grudznick 2012.09.03

    Mr. Randazzo is insaner than almost everybody. Please do not read his blathers as what Real Conservatives think.

  4. grudznick 2012.09.03

    PS: Unions are almost dead. Workers today are smart enough to get another job if they can't handle the one they have. Union membership is in decline all over South Dakota.

  5. Charlie Hoffman 2012.09.03

    Jana: And those auto companies did what with mechanized labor? Welding what? Oh; the actual companies did that for reasons of profit!!

    Shame on them!!!

  6. Charlie Hoffman 2012.09.03

    Jana what gives with the Democratic Convention requiring every attendee to provide a picture ID? Isn't that racist? Poor people without ID"s need not apply for attendance at the Democrat National Convention??????

    Please spin this your way..............

  7. larry kurtz 2012.09.03

    Charlie makes an interesting point: robots are taking jobs from white people faster than those seeking refuge from Amerika's war on drugs.

  8. Donald Pay 2012.09.03

    I'd put it differently. Unions were so successful in pushing and getting employers and governments to recognize the human rights of workers that they worked themselves out of most of their job. I mean those Sioux Falls milk wagon workers and later the coal deliverers got their work week negotiated down from 80 hours per week to 48 hours per week. It was only a few years later that legislation pushed by labor got the 40 hour week.

    I view labor unions as standing up for basic rights of workers. I think they got a little off track in the late 50s, and didn't pay attention to the grassroots, but most unions today are very democratically run and support their members.

  9. grudznick 2012.09.03

    Mr. Pay, the sheetmetal workers unions are dying and I'm told the state employee union is almost dead. As you say they have met their objectives and serve a purpose no more.

  10. larry kurtz 2012.09.03

    Giving slug Randazzo anything but salt is elevation to rodent.

  11. MJL 2012.09.03

    Grudz: I’m told the state employee union is almost dead. As you say they have met their objectives and serve a purpose no more.

    I think you are right. When unions stay focused on the needs of the workers, they have a continued role as a watchdog. I think where people get frustrated is when they belong to unions and either due to circumstances (massive economy downturn) or harsh practices by the government or the corporations that abuse fair play, they feel disenfranchised. Why pay dues if the union can't prevent massive increases in hours or decreases in my pension or benefits. The problem is beginning to show itself when companies return a record profit, but continue to bleed the worker.

  12. Charlie Hoffman 2012.09.03

    Let's get back to that Card Carrying thing the Unions all pushed now seemingly the DNC is pushing for all attendees at the National Democratic Convention. Voting =no need for Picture ID! Democratic Convention No Entry without Picture ID? Where is the continuity????

    Cory; does the Democratic party of the USA have two different standards?

    [CAH: Charlie, you are clearly trying to get us off a topic that you find discomfiting to the soothing "profit is God" pablum your GOP bosses have been feeding you.]

  13. Charlie Hoffman 2012.09.03

    Larry, fall calves sorted, vaccinated and tagged, fly spray applied-(chemical toilet stuff) numbers all recorded. and thank God we do have an old fridge in the shop with Bud Light nearly frozen.

  14. larry kurtz 2012.09.03

    bud light: republican exposed.

  15. Charlie Hoffman 2012.09.03

    ha ha ha ha; LMAO

  16. Jana 2012.09.03

    Wonder what our GOP leaders in Pierre think of Labor Day. I mean certainly they do think of workers...don't they? Obviously Charlie is thinking about honoring labor today :^) Of course it is his own.

    Although it might be how can we get cheaper labor to make our campaign donors wealthier...but at least they are thinking.

    To be fair, the governor's labor day message encouraged everyone to drive safe and not drink and drive. Message to the workers...well, maybe they forgot.

  17. Charlie Hoffman 2012.09.03

    Jana you went right on with the attack and skipped my question. Why does the Democratic National Convention require a picture ID for admittance while scolding the GOP for asking one to vote? Good spin Jana, but not what the astute reader was looking for.

  18. larry kurtz 2012.09.03

    Jana, why do I get the sense that I could get closer to Rep. Hoffman's testicles than you could?

  19. Jana 2012.09.03 are quickly becoming one of my favorite ideologues!

    To equivocate a photo ID to get into the hall with the President of the United States with the right to vote is simple minded by anyone's standards.

    But hey, you hang in there and enjoy that Bud Light! Just remember to drive safely.

    But as long as you are here, maybe you can tell us how you and your GOP old boys network are helping out the average worker in South Dakota...and where they fit in with your priorities.

    You know, you were in Tampa and had the chance to be a voice for the GOP's that work out for the working poor and labor.

    Thank god for you and your friends for keeping us safe from unions and collective bargaining.

  20. Jana 2012.09.03

    O jeez Larry...I just ate!

  21. Jana 2012.09.03 gotta lighten up a little bit. But do me a favor and define "astute reader" before you suck down too many more Bud Lights...although that sounds good.

  22. grudznick 2012.09.03

    Mr. Kurtz, your tab at Willy's needs to be closed soon.

  23. Bill Fleming 2012.09.03

    This might be the best Labor Day conversation going on anywhere on the net today. Bravo all!

  24. larry kurtz 2012.09.03

    thy will be done, o' most wise.

  25. Jana 2012.09.03

    I'll play your game for a second or two Mr. Hoffman. The people going to the Democratic convention are invited guests...and like the Republican Convention...not just anyone is as important as you to get invited.

    How many voter id related election fraud cases are there compared to threats on our President's life?

    I don't know what photo IDs the invited guests will be required to show so I will ask you since you seem to be the expert on what the Dems are doing at their convention. Will they accept VA photo ID's? State issued student ID's.

    If invited, would they let Paul Carroll in? How about Bill Internicola, you think they'd let someone like Thelma Mitchell in?

    Basing your deflection and parties desperation in attracting anything but old cranky white voters is showing with your made up voter fraud issue and total lack of caring about anybody but people like you.

    Now, let's get back to how the SD GOP is all for the people that provide the labor for wealth....excuse me...job creators.

    So how have you and your SD GOP brethren promoted the national celebration of labor?

  26. Rorschach 2012.09.03

    Charlie, you've posted 6 times on this thread and have yet to say anything positive about the people who do the work in this country. What the @#$% are you on this thread for?

    I say thank you to the workers who built this country and continue to toil in our fields and factories, and in the military. Yes, that includes those who aren't citizens (a lot of non-citizens in our military, believe it or not). And thank you to the unions that brought workers the 40 hour work week, and higher wages, and child labor laws, and better benefits, and worker safety laws and regulations.

    Shame on those Republicans who want to dismantle everything unions built so the robber barons can pocket the difference. Shame on those Republicans who want to compete with China by making the US just like China.

  27. Rorschach 2012.09.03

    And thanks to the workers in St. Louis who brewed Charlie's beer!

  28. Rorschach 2012.09.03

    And to the dock workers who loaded it. And the truck drivers who hauled it here and delivered it to the store. And to the low-paid store clerks who sold the beer to Charlie.

  29. Jana 2012.09.03

    OK Charlie...or have you had enough Bud Lights that I can call you Chuck?

    Comment on how productivity has skyrocketed (you know wage earners working harder and smarter) and corporate profits have skyrocketed while the earnings of the middle class and working poor have shrunk?

    It is Labor Day and it is supposed to about the celebration of the working man and woman...what is the GOP doing to celebrate this day with the laborers in SD?

    Oh please say that you are all about giving jobs and contracts to friends and family...the truth would be refreshing.

    I mean, after Paul Ryan's speech, that probably had you cheering like a little school girl at a Justin Bieber concert, a little truth out of you guys couldn't hurt.

    What has the GOP done to promote or even acknowledge labor in SD? (Oh please say that you have focused on giving jobs to family and cronies!)

    Beer still cold?

  30. Jana 2012.09.03

    Charlie, what was the involvement of the various union labor on the production of "Survivor?"

    You knew that Ronald Reagan was a former president and member of the Actors Guild...right?

    Hope you got a couple of beers left, because here's a quote from Ronald might have heard of him even though the GOP is only using him as a false idol.

    "But restoring the American dream requires more than restoring a sound, productive economy, vitally important as that is. It requires a return to spiritual and moral values, values so deeply held by those who came here to build a new life. We need to restore those values in our daily life, in our neighborhoods and in our government’s dealings with the other nations of the world.

    These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland. The values that have inspired other dissidents under Communist domination. They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost. They remind us that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. You and I must protect and preserve freedom here or it will not be passed on to our children. Today the workers in Poland are showing a new generation not how high is the price of freedom but how much it is worth that price."

    Read more:

    It's been fun Charlie...shall we play some more?

  31. Jana 2012.09.03

    And yes, I know reality stars don't have to join, they just get the benefit of having qualified labor handle the production and safety issues.

  32. grudznick 2012.09.03

    Unions are like religion: a crutch for the weak of mind.

  33. larry kurtz 2012.09.03

    Rumors of my assimilation are greatly exaggerated.

  34. Jana 2012.09.03

    Hey Chuck, you know how everyone is worried about the economic crisis in've read about that right? Then you probably know that Germany has a very healthy economy...right Charlie. You with me here?

    Check this out:

    "In Germany, still a manufacturing and export powerhouse, average hourly pay has risen five times faster since 1985 than in the United States. The secret of Germany’s success, says Klaus Kleinfeld, who ran the German electrical giant Siemens before taking over the American aluminum company Alcoa in 2008, is “the social contract: the willingness of business, labor and political leaders to put aside some of their differences and make agreements in the national interests.”

    "In short, German leaders have practiced stakeholder capitalism and followed the century-old wisdom of Henry Ford, while American business and political leaders have dismantled the dynamics of the “virtuous circle” in pursuit of downsizing, offshoring and short-term profit and big dividends for their investors."

    Oh yeah...they have socialized medicine and better outcomes than the US.

    Give your tired platitudes a rest, will ya...but I'm guessing you wouldn't know a platitude from a platypus if it bit you in the ass. (Oops, that might have been a little too close to those testicles that Larry talked about.)

    Goodnight Charlie. Or do you want to go back to mechanized labor and how it didn't impact the profitability of either the auto manufacturers or their workers.

  35. Jana 2012.09.03

    So Grud, are you thinking that the GOP should mount an offensive against religion the way they have unions and collective bargaining?

  36. larry kurtz 2012.09.03

    grudz has shown his hand, Jana. PP with access to the motherboard: be very afraid.

  37. Jana 2012.09.03

    Sorry Charlie (hey that might be a good line for a tuna commercial!)

    I didn't mean to single you out with the whole not knowing a platitude from a platypus if it bit you in the ass, that was for the whole of the Republican party. My singular apology to you.

  38. grudznick 2012.09.03

    Mr. Kurtz, you were assimilated a few years ago.

  39. Donald Pay 2012.09.03

    My old union, the Teaching Assistants Association at the University of Wisconsin, has done a lot to improve the working conditions of graduate student workers on campus. Don't think that because university presidents are a tad more enlightened and liberal than Republican Neanderthals that they don't abuse workers.

    One thing I found out going to graduate school was that the university had an incredible amount of power to screw you to the wall if they thought they could get away with it. Under the threat of ruining your career they used to force graduate students to work a hundred hours per week for free by calling it "studying" or "research." Essentially, you were a slave. Not anymore, thanks to the union.

    The TAA has been able to increase the wages the University paid to TAs, Research Assistants and other workers. A big thing has been to negotiate health coverage to graduate student assistants, many of whom are parents of young children.

  40. Jana 2012.09.03

    "All wealth is the product of labor" John Locke

  41. Jana 2012.09.03

    Wonder if this one has ever been used at a Lincoln Day dinner in SD?

    If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.

    -- Abraham Lincoln

  42. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.03

    Jana, R, you handle Charlie's non sequitur well. Thank you.

    Grudz, you spew nonsense. Unions are not some personal worldview or props for weak thinkers. They are practical organizations that fight to check the power of capital. They may be weaker than in the past, but that does not mean labor unions do not or cannot serve useful purposes.

  43. Rorschach 2012.09.03

    Remind me. Didn't a union recently hold Minnehaha County responsible for illegal pay cuts? If memory serves, the county took the position that when a contract talks about future increases, that an "increase" can be negative. That one didn't pass the giggle test, and the courts didn't buy it either.

  44. Dave 2012.09.03

    I was hoping this year that Charlie's increased productivity (which earned him a self-award of a cold beer) would mean the price of the T-bone I purchased for our Labor Day cookout would be less expensive this year. Alas. This year, my steak cost more. No wonder Charlie seems so giddy. His pockets are full.

  45. Charlie Hoffman 2012.09.04

    Dave the price of beef has actually dropped about 20% since the high earlier this summer due to increased corn prices.

    Jana you are petti and condesending; wrapped up in all your own personal manefestations of intellect. You make drinking an adult beverage a sin and use childish comments to drive home some imaginary anti-labor ideologue wished for on my behalf. You are hoping that I take your bait and switch hit one out of the park on your behalf. No chance but keep trying.

  46. Michael Black 2012.09.04

    For almost every American, Labor Day only means the end of summer and not the celebration of the worker.

  47. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.04

    (Charlie, Mitt Romney also makes drinking an adult beverage a sin.)

    Michael, many Americans similarly miss the full meaning of Independence Day, Easter, and Christmas. That does not change the original meaning of the holiday, the vile nature of Randazzo's effort to undermine labor in favor of corporate power, or the importance of worker rights.

  48. Heather 2012.09.04

    To all the people saying Unions are a bad thing. My husband is in the Union if not for that we would have had to claim medical bankruptcy by now. My husbands profession does not have health insurance. I am also blessed because I don't have to work and can finally attend school and be able to have a job that I will love to do.

  49. Jana 2012.09.04

    Sorry if I hurt your delicate sensibilities. Should we take a trip in the "wayback machine" to see what started our little exchange and your implied sense of victimhood?

    Charlie Hoffman
    2012.09.03 at 16:31

    Jana: And those auto companies did what with mechanized labor? Welding what? Oh; the actual companies did that for reasons of profit!!

    Shame on them!!!
    Charlie Hoffman
    2012.09.03 at 16:34

    Jana what gives with the Democratic Convention requiring every attendee to provide a picture ID? Isn't that racist? Poor people without ID"s need not apply for attendance at the Democrat National Convention??????

    Please spin this your way..............

    Charlie Hoffman
    2012.09.03 at 17:44

    Jana you went right on with the attack and skipped my question. Why does the Democratic National Convention require a picture ID for admittance while scolding the GOP for asking one to vote? Good spin Jana, but not what the astute reader was looking for.

    p.s. Charlie, I like Bud Light as well... so see, we share something in common.

Comments are closed.