by John Rubino
Years (and years) ago, I was an unskilled 17- year-old who needed a job. So I drove out to a “foundry” (a factory that makes things out of molten metal) on the edge of town and asked if they needed any more workers. They said yes, hired me on the spot, and enrolled me in the local United Steelworkers union.
The work was hard, the conditions dirty and sometimes scary, but I made adult money and got to know men (it was all men) who supported their families with that single 8-hour-a-day job.
We even went on strike once. The union rep called each of us one evening and told us not to show up until further notice. After about a week, having gotten some of what they wanted, they called us back in. Very civilized and unremarkable, completely normal for the time and place.