Labor Perspective From MCAP co- founder John Kubinski: Learn About The Middle Class Action Project, Which Is Bringing Working People Together To Fight Back Against Corporate Greed & Income Inequality
By John Kubinski
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WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: Your On-Line Labor Newspaper Has Had the Pleasure of Meeting So Many Pro-Union Workers Over the Years Via the Social Networks, Including Facebook. Here’s Another: John Kubinski (Pictured Above/Photos Courtesy of John Kubinski) – a Member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1500, Who’s Fighting for the Betterment of All Working People Through His Middle Class Action Project on Staten Island, Which Impressed WNYLaborToday.com. Your On-Line Labor Newspaper Recently Reached Out to John (Who Can be Contacted Via Facebook at www.facebook.com/john.kubinski) and Asked Him to Tell WNYLaborToday.com’s Visitors/Readers About What he Hopes to Accomplish With the Middle Class Action Project in a Labor Perspective That Your On-Line Labor Newspaper Would Publish. Here’s What John Had to Say:
Apathy Equals Surrender.
What You Allow is What Will Continue.
Wake Up, Stand Up, Fight Back!
These are All Rally Cries Used by the Staten Island Based-Workers Advocacy Group Known as The Middle Class Action Project (MCAP)
This Collection of Working Men and Women Have Banded Together to Help and Raise Awareness About Issues That Most Affect the Working Class – and Hopefully – Inspire People to Take Action.
The Project’s Co-Founders are Robert Holst (Pictured Below, On the Right), Who is a Member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3 and Myself, John Kubinski (Pictured Below, On the Left), a Member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1500.
Robert and I Share a Vision of Bringing the Working People of This Country Together to Fight Back Against Such Things as Corporate Greed and Income Inequality.
Our Constant Struggle to Educate and Motivate the Working Class is an Unwavering Battle and We Feel That Nothing Will Change Until the Masses Demand it. If We Continually, as a Society, Allow Big Business to Run Rough-Shod Over Us and Corrupt Our Elected Officials Through a Pay-to-Play System of Government Things Will Only Get Worse for the Working People of This Country.
For the Past 30 Years, Wages for Working People Have Remained Stagnate, While Corporate Profits and CEO Salaries Have Sky-Rocketed. Its Become Harder and Harder for Working People to Live Comfortably or Save for the Future. And Unfortunately, Many Working People Across the United States Live Paycheck to Paycheck and the Poorest of Our Society are Doing Worse Than Ever.
But Instead of Coming Up With Solutions On How to Help, Our Elected Officials Have Cut Funding for Assistance Programs and Have Virtually Discontinued Any Effort to Help Those Less Fortunate Obtain an Education or Job Training.
So – I Ask You, Who’s Going to Fight for These People?
Who’s Willing to be a Voice for the Voiceless?
Certainly Unions Have Done That, But Union Membership is in Decline and the Attack Against Organized Labor Has Increased.
For Example, Postal Workers and Teachers Have Been Vilified in the Press and Attacked Publicly by Politicians. These are Workers That Deliver Our Mail and Educate Our Children. These Attacks are the Direct Result of Corporate Interests That are Intent On Privatizing Every Service Imaginable and Profiting On Every Aspect of the Working Person’s Life.
Unions Have Also Been Portrayed as a Corrupt Group of Thugs That Extort Money From Their Membership Without Providing Anything in Return.
That’s Why the Middle Class Action Project Has Decided the Time Has Come to Fight Back.
Both of the Project’s Founders Have Tried to Implement Change Through the System.
Robert’s Been Politically Active Through His Union for Many Years and Has Been a Member of Many Political Groups and Committees. I’ve Represented My Union at a Few Functions and Have Joined the Democratic Committee Here On Staten Island, But We’ve Both Found Politics is a Beast That Feeds On Money and Positioning. We Learned That Campaigning and Strategy are Discussed While Implementing Change is an Afterthought. That’s Why We Decided to Take the Fight to the Streets and Bring the Power Back Where it Belongs, With the People.
MCAP’s Very First Strategy Meeting Took Place at a Small Table in the Backroom of a Local Diner, Where a Plan Was Created and Put Into Effect.
The First Step Was to Try and Wake People Up Through Social Media.
We Created a Facebook Page That Featured Stories About Worker’s Rights, Income Inequality and the Need for People to Take an Interest in Their Own Lives. The Page (www.facebook.com/TheMiddleClassActionProject) Currently Has a Following of Just Under Seven Thousand.
We Then Spread Out to Other Mediums Like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
And We Created Our Own Web Site (www.themiddleclassactionproject.com), as Well as Our Own YouTube Channel and Radio Blog.
The Next Step Was to Take Action.
We Attended Rallies for Postal Workers, as Well as Rallies for Bus Drivers, Communication Workers, School Bus Drivers and Matrons.
Whenever Working People Were Under Attack – We Stood in Solidarity With Them.
We Also Helped Those Less Fortunate Than Ourselves. We Volunteered at Food Drives, Raised Money and Participated in Various Walks for Different Charities. When Hurricane Sandy Struck, Our Members Helped in Different Ways and as a Group, We Held a Fund-Raising Event.
We Also Participated in a Number of Big Events Like the Worker’s Rights Rally in Philadelphia and the March Against Monsanto in New York City.
We’ve Always Felt That You Can’t Have the Word Action in Your Name and Not be Out in the Streets.
Buy Now the Time’s Come for Us to Start Championing Our Own Causes.
We’ve Had a Growing Number of People Become Actionists, Who That Could be Counted On to Stand Up and Fight Back.
When We Discovered the Verrazano Bridge Was Being Repaired With Chinese Steel, We Decided to Take Action. We Held Our Own Rally and Attracted Interest From the Local Press, Both in Print and On Cable News.
Then, We Were Approached by a Most Unlikely Source for Assistance – Ilya Galak, a Russian Immigrant and Former Member of the Tea Party, Who Asked for Our Help in His Efforts to Bring Back Manufacturing to the U.S. So Our Make It In America Campaign Was Born and Became Front Page News in the Local Press.
Now, Our Numbers are Continuing to Grow and We’ve Found Ways to Address Many Issues in Many Ways.
Thanks to Funding and Support From a Few Unions, We Were Able to Sponsor a Viewing of the Robert Reich Documentary: Inequality For All.
We’ve Also Sponsored Various Forums and Lectures On Such Topics as How the Government is Supposed to Work for You and the Dangers of Free Trade Agreements.
Let Me say That We Don’t Believe Our System of Government is Bad, We Just Believe it Needs to be Implemented Correctly and Without Corruption.
On Another Front, We’re Continually Working to Get Our Elected Officials to Address the Problems of the Working Class. We Lobby and Contact Our Local Politicians Often and We’ll be Holding a Candidates Forum and Having Our Elected Officials, as Well as Their Opponents, Answer Questions About and State Their Intentions On How They Intend to Serve the Best Interests of Working People.
We’re Also Continuing to Debunk the Corporate Propaganda Against Organized Labor and Inform People About the True Meaning of Unionism and Standing Together.
We’re Continuing to Stand With Workers That are the Victims of Corporate Greed.
We Will Continue to Rally With Walmart Workers, Fast Food Workers and Retail Workers and Encourage Them to Stand Up and Unionize.
We’re Continuing to Fight for More Jobs and More Manufacturing.
We’re Continuing to Fight Against Corporate Influence in Washington.
We’re Continuing to Fight the War Against Apathy and Try to Get More People Involved.
Make No Mistake, This is a Fight!
The Other Side Has Money, the Media, Lawyers and the Lobbyists On Their Side – But One Thing’s Proven True Throughout the Course of History: The Power of the People is Stronger Than the People in Power.