Return the labor union mural
To the Editor:
Why is the labor union mural Gov. LePage had taken from the Maine Department of Labor so important?
The mural is about the fight against injustice by Maine working people. The mural presents recorded history.
In Maine history, human beings who worked in mills believed they were not slaves even though they were treated like slaves by their managements. The workers believed they were human beings and should be treated like human beings. In other words, they believed in their inherent, or God-given, human dignity.
So it was Maine workers organized labor unions to oppose mill managements which forced them to work under inhuman and dangerous conditions for long hours at slave wages. The workers stood up to their managements’ contempt for their human dignity.
After opposition to the Maine labor unions by mill managements and the state government, after strikes and street battles by the unions, the workers began to change their workplaces through negotiations so that the working conditions in mills were less inhuman and dangerous. They also began to gain better wages and work shorter hours. In other words, they made their human dignity a reality.
When Gov. LePage took the labor union mural down, he showed the same contempt for the working people of Maine that mill managements of the past showed before workers formed their labor unions. And, he supported the “slave labor” philosophy of the past.
The labor union mural should be returned to the Maine Department of Labor. As the governor would say, "It's a no-brainer!"