On this 11th anniversary of 9-11, I remember many things – the shock, the horror, the fear on George Bush’s face, my fear for my family.
But mostly I remember and honor the thousands of public sector UNION heroes who answered that 911 call. Every first responder was a union member – every cop, EMT, bus driver. But mostly I remember the union firefighters. Hundreds and hundreds of firefighters went into those Twin Towers knowing they would likely never come out. With fire hoses slung over their shoulders, they ran up those stairs to save lives and fight the fires. More than 350 firefighters died that day trying to rescue others.
It was amazing heroism, running into certain death to save other Americans, other human beings.
It should never be lost on us that every hero was a union member.
Within weeks of 9-11, President George W. Bush demonized public sector unions and denied collective bargaining rights to those federal workers who went into the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration.
Bush demonized public sector unions just as Mitt Romney, Scott Walker, John Kasich and most Republican leaders demonize public sector union members.
May we never forget.
Stewart Acuff is America’s best-known and foremost labor organizer. He is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work, coauthored by Dr. Richard Levins.Tags: 9-11, acuff, stewart acuff, Union