During a Senate hearing on labor rights Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) got his clock cleaned by a union organizer who is working to unionize Amazon employees.
Graham accused Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) of “demonizing” successful U.S. businesses by calling them before the United States Senate Committee on the Budget and making them explain why they’re so opposed to their employees unionizing:
“This is a heavy-handed approach! The most radical agenda in my lifetime!”
Amazon union organizer Christian Smalls spoke next, and he gave Graham a lesson, telling him:
“It sounds like you’ve been talking about more of the companies and businesses in your speech but you forgot that the people are the ones who make these companies operate. And we’re not protected and the process for when we hold these companies accountable is not working for us. And… that’s the reason we’re here today. That’s the reason I’m here to represent the workers who make these companies go.”
Smalls also urged Graham to put aside his partisanship and look at the issue non-politically:
“I think that it’s in your best interest to realize that is not a left or right thing, it’s not a Democrat or Republican thing. It’s a workers thing… that’s the reason why I think I was invited today to speak on their behalf, and you should listen because we do represent your constituents as well.”
Despite what conservatives like Lindsey Graham say, unions are a very good thing. They’re the reason we have a five-day workweek, overtime pay, vacation time, and other rights. Unions have been essential to making sure workers are treated fairly and appropriately compensated for the work they do.
Graham and others in the GOP would do well to remember that without American workers, they wouldn’t have food on their tables, light in their homes, or the clothes they wear on their backs. If we can pay members of Congress hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to represent us, we should damn well make sure the people who keep this country running are properly compensated and treated with the respect they deserve.