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Labor Education - Preparing our Auxiliary Family for the Future
If our children are our future, then it is up to us to educate them on the past. That is exactly the reason behind the Auxiliary's Labor Education Program. Based on a curriculum received from several school systems, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN., this program attempts to bridge the gap of past, present, and future.
Aside from the school curriculum the Auxiliary uses sources from "Labor Heritage" magazine, various encyclopedias to communicate these efforts of our labor forefathers to our membership. The column "A little bit of Labor Ed" details topics of labor struggles both past and present. Some issues deal with the abuses of child labor and how that brought about public education. Others deal with legislation such as NAFTA and GATT and their effects on today's work force. But the most important lesson here is education on the history of organized labor.
Labor Education ties into every facet of Auxiliary activity. Whether your interest is legislation or human relation you can always find a tie to the labor organizations of the United States. A union - is defined as a merger or joining of persons or things for a common goal. Marriage is a union. Family is a union. Our churches are unions. Our United States of America is a union of 50 states. Union means work together, - cooperation ; Basically it means, "United we stand - divided we fall."
As part of our continuing commitment the Auxiliary piloted a Labor Education for Kids program at the 1994 National Convention. Several National Auxiliary officers have presented all or parts of this program to state conventions. Why do we reflect on the past - just look around. More and more companies want a part time work force with few if any benefits. They want a lower salary, no medical insurance, no vacation pan and so on. It looks like a revival of the early 1900's. Children have the strongest sense of right and wrong and labor education reinforces that sense.