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We Need More Poetry in This Labor Movement

Even though most people don't realize it, America's labor movement has a rich artistic and cultural legacy. We need to find the more recent additions and put them out for all the world to see. For example, Brother Rick Schoolcraft of UAW Local 848 in Grand Prairie recently went through contract negotiations. He wrote a number of poems that were picked up by other workers and circulated around the plant in mid-October. The contract proposal was eventually ratified on October 17, but the union members had gone through a lot of human experiences then. Schoolcraft captured some of the feeling when he wrote this poem after listening to a speech from someone in management:

Poor little Judy,
Just couldn't see
Why 848
Would not agree.

To the takeaway proposal
They gave to us.
She couldn't understand
Why we made such a fuss.

" They don't need a bonus! "
Little Judy did say.
" We deserve it more,
So they should pay. "

"More for their Health Care!
Overtime pay must end!
It's our bank accounts
We need to extend! "

"They don't need their weekends off.
They need to be at work.
Then we can raise our salaries
And keep our every perk.

So the corporate greed
Kept getting in the way
Of what's fair for the workers.
And here we are today.

In the midst of a battle
The union must win.
For the sake of our families,
We must ALL join in!

In Solidarity,
Rick Schoolcraft
UAW Member,
Local 848

Rick Schoolcraft is pictured as he goes into a contract ratification meeting in October, 2004