We have a long history of music that chronicles the struggles of working people in this country. This music depicts our transformation from an agrarian economy to an industrialized one and the labor movement that arose from that transformation. The econ0my has been transformed yet again as we moved from manufacturing to service sector jobs; as jobs are outsourced and employees are re-defined as independent contractors; and as worker productivity has sharply increased, wages for the middle class and working poor remain stagnant.
Work remains dangerous and too often deadly for some; underpaid or unequally paid for far too many. Labor unions have historically addressed both of those work issues and union members have put their lives on the line to remedy them. These videos are a reminder of work and of the struggle. And they still resonate today.
U.S. Steel Music Video- Tom Russell Band
The last union coal mine in Kentucky has closed. “Kentucky coal miners bled and died to unionize.”
Sixteen Tons- Johnny Cash
Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said “that for African-Americans between the ages of 17 and 20, ‘the real unemployment rate … is 51 percent.'”
Run DMC- Hard Times
Can we pass the 2015 Paycheck Fairness Act, already? And then move on to paid family leave?
Nine to Five- Dolly Parton
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, along with their American born children and build a huge wall along the Mexican (of course) border. Time to read about the Mexican Repatriation during the 1930s right here in San Diego. Immigrants built this country and have never stopped doing so.
Manu Chao- Clandestino
Conservatives are in denial of their own immigrant experiences:
The Fight for $15 continues. Wage theft, time theft and discrimination in San Diego County restaurant jobs must be remedied.
Talib Kweli- Get By