Friday, September 1, 2023

Working and Class

Quick Ramen Chicken, dinner in 20 minutes | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dinner

And just like that, it's Labor Day. For us, most of us anyway, it's a celebration of the unofficial end to the summer, the beginning of a new school year, and a nod to the coming cooler weather.

But, of course, Labor Day was not created for any of those reasons. It's not just about acknowledging societal achievements brought about by our work force, but more than that, it was created to address a serious issue, their rights in the workplace.

I'm not going to debate the issue of unions. There are pros and cons, but I'll leave that issue alone.


I do want to tell you a story, though.

My grandfather and some of his brothers owned a company. They started a factory and made a product. They were hands on bosses. My grandfather could and did do many of the tasks, work the machines, from the ground up. He was well liked, and I know this not only because of stories passed down in our family, but from, many years after his retirement, when he died at the age of 99 years and 9 months, how many people who knew him through that company crowded his funeral.

Grandpa was a little naive at the start. Remind me some time, to tell you the story about him building credit. But that's a story for another day. Today's story is about character, it doesn't take much more than character to make a man do the right thing. Not the least of which is appreciation of the worker who keep their company running.

Some of the specifics of what happened are either not retained in my memory, or maybe I never knew them to begin with. Some of what I do remember may be a little fuzzy as well. I'm not sure whether the entire work force: front office, sales, manufacturing, shipping . . . but I do know that union representatives began approaching at least some level of the workers.

Working and Class | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of | #MyGraphics #Blogging

I believe that initially Grandpa was unhappy, maybe a little insulted by the union interference, didn't want outsiders dictating the personnel policies of their heart and soul, this company they built. 

Whether you like unions or you don't, they are designed to function as protection of the rights of workers. And in the end, the union did, of course, address the employees. They promised a minimum number of sick days, vacation days, holidays, breaks during the work day, pay levels.  

Unionization was voted down, all they offered was resoundingly declined.


Because the benefits Grandpa's company provided their employees exceeded what was promised by the union.

The man had class.

Whether it comes from the intrinsic benevolence of management, is mandated by law, or acquired via the strength of unity, this is what I know: safety matters, health matters, the ability to afford shelter, nourishment, it all matters.

No one should worry about their safety, a place to sleep, where their next meal will come from.

Quick Ramen Chicken, dinner in 20 minutes | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dinner

Quick Ramen Chicken

So, what you do, how and where you do it, unions, labor laws, workplace rules and regulations, all of that aside, it is humanity that should be guiding us.

Humanity dictates that every worker earn, at the very least, a living wage.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Quick Ramen Chicken         

Printable Recipe

2 packages Ramen Soup, soy or chicken flavor
1 tsp dried ginger
1/8 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tsp cooking sherry
2 green onions, sliced, divided
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded, room temperature
1/2 cup snap peas
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 carrot, shaved
2 radishes, sliced thin

*Break up the noodles from both soup packages in a large bowl with 3 cups of water. Microwave 5 minutes, until the noodles are soft.
*Mix the flavor packets, ginger, chili flakes, sherry, and one of the sliced green onions into the bowl with the noodles.
*Once incorporated, add the chicken, snap peas, and broccoli florets.
*Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 5 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed.
*Serve topped with the remaining sliced green onion, the shaved carrot, and the sliced radish.


  1. Interesting story. I would have thought the union organizers would have researched the company and its policies before starting their efforts.

    1. I don't think unions back in my grandfather's day were even close to as organized as they are now.

  2. Well said. I don't have personal experience with unions but I know a number of stories. One of my co workers recently lost her father (aged 101) who was a business owner and also beloved in his upstate New York community. My husband has had experience with both working for a unionized company and a non unionized company (in the same industry) and it was interesting.

    1. The goal needs to be basic rights, no matter how they are achieved.

  3. I found this interesting, I know nothing about unions or how good or not good they are

  4. I don’t have any experience with Unions, so I appreciated ready this story. The looks so good!

    1. I don't have any experience with them either, but I'm happy to share this story.

  5. Your grandfather was a good man and a great man in every sense of those words.

    We used to have Kroger grocery stores here. Some of the employees at some stores were approached by the union and eventually, it came down to a vote. Kroger's national office said, if you vote to unionize, we will shut down in your state. They voted to unionize, and the next morning every Kroger in the state had its doors locked. Crews were brought in from other states to remove everything from every store and the buildings were either sold or left empty until the lease ended and the lease was simply not renewed.

    I never got the chance to ask any of the Kroger employees, as it all happened so fast, but how much do you want to bet Kroger employees really needed union protection?

    1. I would guess if the national office was that afraid of the changes the union would bring about that they would close all of those stores, chances are the employees would have had a lot to gain by unionizing. Sad, We have a grocery chain near here who were heavily advertising that they offered Covid shots (since they'd get money from them), but behind the scenes spoke against the need for them in a video message from the CEO playing in their break rooms. Money is valued, people are not.

  6. If workers are happy and already getting what they need, I can see why they turned the union down.

  7. My grandfather was for the unions for the steel workers in the Pittsburgh PA steel mills. The unions were not appreciated by the steel mills and he and my grandmother moved away to another part of Pennsylvania to escape violence. My family never told me this story, but my mother wrote about it in some papers I inherited and there was some mention of the violence in the newspapers. I believe this was in the early 1900’s. My last job was for my local county government and we had a union.

    1. Interesting story, but sad as well, that they actually had to move away for their safety.

    2. I’m not sure why this showed up as anonymous. I’m not hiding. LOL

  8. That was a great Story and your Grandfather was the type of Employer every Employee dreams of having. I once worked for a Family Owned Business where the Owner treated us all like extended Family, I loved working there and he encouraged you to rise beyond your position working for him and to make something better for yourself and your future. I moved on to become a Banker and Bank Executive before I turned 23 and I truly Believe that my previous Employer's mentorship and encouragement along with that of my own Parents, greatly influenced me and had me believe I could break the glass ceilings of that Era where Women didn't have equal opportunities.

    1. Mentorship can mean so much, especially when you're first starting out.


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