Good afternoon brothers and sisters, the hero's of
of the workers and retirees in this great world that
we live in.

The welcome and introduction will always remain
the same when I write to my brothers and sisters.
I believe in that welcome and I never get tired of
using it because it's the truth as I see it.

Many of us may never live long enough to see those
words come true, but they will come true. We need
to see these words in our lifetime because we will
have played a big role in the grassroots movement
of the push  for that truth and decent working wages
and benefits for the working man in the world.

I watched a movie on the repression of the black people
in the Southern States during the 1930's and 1940's and
I was so moved by the courage of the black Baptist ministers
one man struggle to wage his own war for equality and justice,
that I just had to respond with my thoughts on his experiences.

It's a movie that I happened upon while sitting in a hotel room
where I flipped through the channels during some free time. The
movie was already in progress but I didn't miss to much of the
beginning of it. The movie would end just as I had to leave the
room for prior commitments.

I got so involved in the movie that I can't even remember
the name of it. The minister wanted the same equality and
justice for the black people that the white people had. He
couldn't accept the idea that the black people were a lower
class people than the white people.

He tried to get the black people to stand together and to
change the system. They worked for the white people and
those white people were the ones that would enjoy big profits
from that work. The black people had to purchase food and
other items from these white people, so the white people
gained even more riches from the people that they suppressed.

The black people were afraid and refused to stand up for
their rights. The ones that did try to were soon murdered and
this would keep that fear alive and well. The black people
would always be offered some hope that things would change
for the better, but that hope was nothing more than a lip
service. This "hope" lie would be enough to pacify the black
leaders and things would never change during this period of time.

This minister tried to instill a new hope within the people. He
tried to tell and show them what they would have to do to
change the system. How could they stand by and see and
say nothing when their neighbors were murdered? Why was
the white man fined when he killed a rabbit out of season, but
nothing ever happened when he killed a black man? Was a rabbits
life worth more than a black mans life?

The story goes on and on, but the blacks can't be motivated
to stand up to the white man. Finally the deacons of that church
relieve this minister as pastor of this church. After all, these
deacons were offered hope and given some small praise from
the white people. These false hopes and false praises were
enough to keep these leaders in their place.

Things couldn't and wouldn't change during the career of this
minister at this Baptist church. The people weren't ready to
fight. Many more of their people would die before they would
be ready to stand up for their rights. The deacons had done
their job well and were praised by the white man. The trouble
maker was gone and a new 26 year old minister replaced him.

Everything was going to return to normal and life could go on
just as it had been before this troublemaker came into the scene.
By the way, the 26 year old minister that replaced the trouble-
maker minister was a man named Dr. Martin Luther King. This
would be another story and history during the turbulent years
that followed.

I watched this movie (story) and since watching it I have many
questions on my mind and would like to reflect on them. Many of
the thoughts that linger on within me can never be answered here
on this earth. Were those people little more than slaves? I believe
this to be true. Were they treated lower than the animals that roam
this earth? I believe this to be true. Was an animals life worth more
than theirs in the eyes of these white people? I believe this was true

How can a person justify that he is the better person by suppressing
another persons life? How can anyone justify themselves as the better
person by pointing out to what another person has done wrong? Don't
we all have enough skeletons in our own closet to look at? We have
all done things in our lives that we will hide in these closets. Many
people have been caught in their wrongdoings and they are made public.

How can I ever look at those wrongs and point to them and say
that I'm a better person than he is? It just doesn't hold water with
me. Wouldn't I be a better person if I could feel sorry for that person,
and then look into my own closet? He may be a better man than I am.
How can I ever justify anything from another persons acts? I can't. I
can only look into my own closet to see all of the wrongs that I have
done during my lifetime, and then feel sorry for that person that was
caught in his wrongdoings.

I will now fast forward to our times and the challenges that now face
us. Are we slaves? This question comes into my mind and I must reflect
upon it with my own thoughts. My thoughts are that the workers of
the world today are a new form of slave. We go through our young lives
being cared for and for most of us these are carefree times in our lives.
We will have food, water, shelter and an education if we want it. We
are for the most part free of the cares of the world.

In many cases, we will enter into these new jobs with the hopes of making
decent wages and having decent benefits so that we can raise our families
and provide for them. We have the hopes that we can make enough money
to set some of those earnings aside for our golden years. We have become
and employee for our employer and we are full of hope and promises that
the employer gives to us.

My thoughts are that when we enter the workforce for full time employment,
we come to be slaves for the owners that we perform the work for. We have
his promises that things will get better. We will rely on those promises as we
move forward in our careers. We are now slaves to those promises. The employer
has made those promises to us and we become his slave. This may not be
a true statement in all cases, but in the majority of these cases I believe that
this will be true. We will produce things and move them into the marketplace.
We will use our minds and work to pay for our promised wages and benefits.
Our employer will recieve more of those gains than we receive. If we don't
produce, then we will be fired.

We do have a choice in this matter. We can stay for the wages that we
receive and try to negotiate higher wages as we earn our employers more
money. We can negotiate retirement plans and benefits. But, we are still
at the mercy of our employer. Is his word any good? Does he have a heart?
Is he people motivated or is he money motivated? What will happen if
our employer sells the business and a new owner takes over?

I would say that we are his slave and we are there to make him money.
We must make that employer money, but it should be shared when we
exceed what we were hired for and the riches begin to pour in. Will the
profits be shared with the employees that earned them? In some cases,
yes. In most cases, no. We will be forced to renegotiate a new contract.

Now, we can only hope that our employer will honor this new contract.
We will remain his slave. He may or may not offer us false hopes so that
we will become more productive. This an ongoing game that continues
throughout our working careers. We work harder and smarter for our
employer with the hopes of sharing in the gains so that we can provide
better lives for our families.

We must also contend with the new laws that are passed by our repre-
sentatives of the people, by the people, and for the people during our
working careers. If these laws change to favor management as they
have been, then we become more of a slave to our masters and can only
hope that we can eat the crumbs from their tables. We will be offered
false hopes. Produce more and better days will come. But, those better
days never come. Get educated and better days will come. We get
educated and those better days still don't come.

Give us some concessions and better days will surely come. Yet, the
better days still don't come. Give us more concessions and surely those
better days will come. Another half truth and false hope. One after another.
The big lie is that the better days have arrived for the employers. They
are getting rich by offering us false hopes. We are right back into reliving
those days in the 1930's and 1940's in those Southern States. Most of
the killings and maimings will come from the factory floors as the workers
will try to please their employers so that the better days will arrive.

We are caught in a trap. We know how to get out of this trap, but the
majority of the workers will go on trying to believe that better days will
come. They will cling to these false hopes rather than defend themselves.
We can see the trap and we will ignore it. We were offered hope, so we
will believe in that hope even as we are being further repressed. We will
lose wages, benefits, and retirement plans. If only we can do more to
please our employer. Things will have to get better.

Our unoins are the deacons. They will do their masters bidding. Those
who would dare to inform the people and try to get them to stand up to
the corruption will be dismissed. They are dissidents that are trying to
mess up the system. We are offered hope and we must follow that hope.
Our employers wouldn't lie to us. Our deacons wouldn't lie to us. They
are offering us hope. We will continue to follow that course of hope.

Kill our brothers and sisters right in front of our eyes. We didn't see
a thing. Kill and rape the young. Maybe they deserved it. We didn't
see a thing. Take from our retirees, they can live with less. Here, let
us help you. They really don't understand what's going on anyways.
What's good for our employers has to be good for them and us also.

What could the retirees know anyways. They are making more money
in retirement than we are while we are doing all of the work, and they
have benefits. We must give some of these promised benefits back to
our employer. If we can survive on less, then surely the retirees can
live on less also. They have no vote or voice in this matter. Our employer
needs help so we must help him. What are our deacons saying? Listen
to them, they know what they are talking about.

These dissidents and retirees don't know a thing. If they get killed
off, then so much the better. They don't really understand anything.
We'd be better off that way anyways. Their benefits and retirement
packages are killing the company. Isn't it better that the retirees die
if someone has to die. We will still have our employer and things will get
better. Our deacons have told us so.

As I go back into history, I find that it was mostly democrats who
persecuted the black people during the turbulent times of the movie
that I have referred to. Am I crazy or not? Go back and check
that history. The democrats passed NAFTA during the Clinton ad-
mistration and thus began the exodus of jobs. Now we have what
will soon be a democratic majority leading our country. Will things
change? My answer is no. We will be offered another a false hope.
We will be given the common excuses on why things didn't happen.

This is my view and opinion. I hope that I'm wrong, but I really
believe that history will prove me correct on this view. Republicans,
Democrats, I just put them into a bag and shake the bag real
well. The answer is always the same when I open that bag.
False hopes and more losses for the working man. The politicans
are bought and paid for. Offer the the workers hopes and keep
them appeased while they are being raped and slaughtered.

The workers watch these things happen and they didn't hear or see
anything. This will continue to happen until enough has been enough.
Than the marches and protests will begin in earnest. The workers eyes
will open and they will realize that that there is no hope. the only hope
that they can ever hope for will have to be fought for. They have been
lied to. It will then be time to do what has to be done. The workers will
then fight for their freedom so that they can be freed from this slavery.
They will fight to be free men.

Until that time arrives brothers and sisters, you will remain the unsung
voice of the battle that is looming. Your voice will be heard. The deacons
will lose their positions and slavery will come to an end. We don't know
when that time is in history, but we do know that it will happen. We all
give something to make this happen. Many can and will contribute more
than others. This is the way it has to be. It all ends up as as one big voice
and one loud cry. LET MY PEOPLE GO!!!

       In Solidarity
       John Goschka
       Local 699 Retiree