Having just read C. Wess Daniel's blog on John Woolman (there's a link through Quakerquaker below and to the right on this blog), I wonder if we can tie our Quaker witness to the following, which appeared in today's New York Times. Bob Herbert writes:
"Listen to the soft-spoken new president of the U.A.W., Bob King.
“My view of the labor movement today,” he said in an interview, “is that we got too focused on our contracts and our own membership and forgot that the only way, ultimately, that we protect our members and workers in general is by fighting for justice for everybody.”
The fundamental issue is that “every human being deserves dignity and a decent standard of living,” he said, “and the whole point of the labor movement is to help make that happen.”
In Mr. King’s view, the fight to organize workers and improve their wages and benefits is important, but it’s part of a much broader effort to improve the lives of individuals and families throughout the country and beyond. He is a believer in cooperative efforts and shared sacrifice, and is unabashedly idealistic as he outlines what can only be described as a new activism on labor’s part.
He promised his members last month that the U.A.W. would be marching and campaigning and organizing — for jobs, for a moratorium on home foreclosures, for civil and human rights and against the mistreatment of immigrants, and for peace."
I find myself responding to this unabashed idealism and a vision that is not narrowly "unionistic" but wants to make life better for everyone. What do you think?