There is an antiquated “right to work” law that should never have been made legal but, to this day, is legal and endangers construction workers throughout the State of Florida.

     I was working on a job for a construction company in Ft. Lauderdale, in 1986, when I took a hard fall off of a rooftop while building a section of a government building.
     This was a “government job,” aka a “cost-plus” job, translating into, for most construction trade-skilled workers, as a job with more breaks, due to the fact that the general contractor got paid more money the more workers he hired and many workers in Florida were not skilled in the trades they were hired to perform. The two “roofers” I was working with had told me that very morning that they knew nothing about roofing work; something I soon realized was true when I stepped on a truss that they hadn’t nailed onto the plywood roof and I took a fall, 25-feet onto the concrete floor below, breaking my left wrist and paralyzing a few fingers. I was actually quite “lucky” in that the company I was working for had their worker’s compensation paid up. I worked for many companies who actually did not keep it paid up and many others who made the tradesmen and laborers work under sub-contractors’ worker’s compensation insurance and to this day such practices are perfectly legal — thanks in large part to the ubiquitous “right to work law,” a law that is a lie, passed by the very people who owned everything, and whose lives it would benefit the most by allowing them to pay their workers any amount they could get them to work for. This law, of course, effects not just how much the workers will be paid but how much health care they will receive when they are injured and who will pay for it.

   In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.” —Martin Luther King, speaking about right-to-work laws in 1961

     The “right to work” law was passed 76 years ago in the State of Florida, the first state to pass it, and it is still an active menace against allowing workers to join unions and keep their job’s and have any say at all in the hours they work, the money they earn or the training they receive.
     I worked in Vancouver, B.C, in Canada, for a union shop and when I needed a skill I had not learned I simply took a (free) course on such things as reading blueprints or shooting grades with a transit. We need more unions in the State of Florida or we will get nothing done right as we continue to see a steady flow of unskilled workers (through no fault of their own) being “used” by dishonest, self-serving, greedy “entrepreneurs,” people who could care less about the quality of the work done but more about the quantity of their profit.

     This is something that has been going on for innumerable decades and has to stop and the sooner the better. We need to bring union representatives into the State of Florida for the trade skills that are so desperately needed here because the communities are being under-served by forcing unskilled workers to end up cutting lawns or working as waiters, dishwashers or laborers when they could be learning the skills for these trades on jobs that are being either lost altogether or performed by unskilled workers who are being paid low wages by “entrepreneurs” who are only worried about their profits and not how skillfully the work gets done.  As your representative for Hernando County, District 35, I will see to it that this legislation is brought and passed.

 

     I will do everything in my power to rescind this despicable law known as the “right to work” law and begin bringing in union reps and tradesmen, as teachers, to enroll and allow young men and women in this state to learn the skills necessary in the present day work force in the State of Florida and to also be paid a salary comparable to those in unionized states, even as trade unions will return to the State of Florida, and to other States the jobs they are supposed to be doing all over this land because as Woody Gutherie once said:

 

This land is your land, this land is my land
From the California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
And saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me , a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

When the sun comes shining, then I was strolling
In the wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me

This land is your land and this land is my land
From the California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

When the sun comes shining, then I was strolling
In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice come chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me


Brothers and sisters, voters all, let us let our voices be raised and heard throughout the State of Florida; as we demand our civil rights and the rights of all of us, not just the wealthy: the hustlers, the “entrepreneurs,” the “owners” of so much of our country, as they meet in the darkness, as is their will, and, as usual, talk about money and what they must do to divide the rest of the country (the real working people) by voting in the likes of Donald Trump and all his minions, wannabees and lackeys, almost all of them having one thing in common they are almost all members of the Republican Party.

If you vote for me as your representative for District 35 I will do my best to represent you. I have nothing against the Republicans: I’d much rather make a friend out of a (perceived) enemy than an enemy out of a (perceived) friend but, if they are indeed Trump clones, then I will fight to oppose their “insane” legislation: legislation that serves no one but themselves and ignores any and all who may oppose them and their despicable self-serving policies, as they not only do an inordinate amount of harm to the young men and women of this state who could be educated in the skills so sorely needed at this time but hurt themselves and their families by denying climate change and the need for skilled workers and back their “leader” Donald Trump, as he marches this nation into the oblivion of bankruptcy.