As if anyone needed further proof of Paul LePage’s intentions to put Maine labor (working stiffs like you and me) in its place and eradicate the middle class, we now have his disgraceful action of removing any hint of Maine’s long fight for labor rights at the Labor Department.

In doing this, he has turned against even his own Franco-American heritage, some of which is depicted in the mural he had removed. He even wants to rename some of the conference rooms dedicated to former labor leaders.

This shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to LePage over the years. He long ago gave away his working-class status when he became a manager for the wealthy owner-class. He declared his intentions by joining the Republican Party, reformed in 1880 of the wealthy, for the wealthy and run by the wealthy (In 1880, the Lincoln Republicans left the party and went over to the Democrats).

Now his only concern is to ensure a steady supply of minimum wage workers who can be used at just under half-time to avoid giving them any benefits.

Unfortunately, many people haven’t studied the history of this party they so gleefully voted for. A hundred years ago, any African-American could have told you which party the Lincoln people belonged to. How many realize it today? Feel free to laugh with me whenever a Republican politician says he is a member of the Party of Lincoln!

Maine has agencies, departments, and bureaus for Corporations, Economic Development, Tourism, Agriculture, Product Marketing, Employee Relations (which works only on behalf of employers), and others that work primarily for the benefit of the owners. Is it too much to expect that at least one agency should support the laborers?

Paul W. Dutram

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