Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Name:
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Friday, September 01, 2006

LABOR DAY 2006

For more than 100 years, Americans have celebrated Labor Day. However, the original significance of honoring American workers and organized labor has tended to morph into a Holiday celebrating the “last fling of summer” – and perhaps, in Alaska, the arrival of mountain top termination dust and, for parents, the beginning of a new school year. Everybody loves a Holiday, especially a three day Holiday weekend! (But remember, the "real" Labor Day is September 1st)

But lest we forget, the Holiday does celebrate American “labor.” In fact, Labor Day salutes the contributions workers have made to the power and prosperity of America (and that means all of us). To keep things in balance, perhaps we should also have a “Business Day,” because business prosperity is likewise essential for America’s well being.

Politically (and, as a politician, that’s what I have to deal with), I can tell you that too often legislative debate involving labor and management issues devolves into a “we-versus-them” power struggle of “you’re either with us, or against us.” Not so.

As an unproductive result, legislators are too often labeled as “pro-labor” or “pro-business,” as if labor could thrive without business, or business without labor. Personally, I’m “pro-issue.” Who sponsors legislation is irrelevant. As a representative, I attempt to look only to what I perceive to be the merits or demerits of a particular bill, and nothing more.

Neither labor nor business has a monopoly on goodness and virtue. The quality (and success) of a business is rooted in the quality of life of employees. Success in business equals profit; success in labor means appropriate wages, benefits, and working conditions. It’s nothing less than a symbiotic relationship. The goals of labor and management must harmonize, or both will fail.

Workers have only skill and labor with which to bargain. Business has only a place for skill and labor to be employed, managed in a manner that makes a profit that enables both labor and management to pay the bills, both at home and for the business. It’s a tough but essential balancing act. Compromise is required, or everybody loses.

Two quotes come to mind, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” (Frederick Douglass, human rights activist). “We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately” (Benjamin Franklin, print shop owner and businessman).

Happy Labor Day!

1 Comments:

Blogger harris said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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