The angry rhetoric and smug backslapping have ceased, but fester still, like a bit of porcupine quill left down deep.

It’s been a spell since the murals honoring Maine’s labor history disappeared into darkness. I believe it is fitting to reconsider them now.

The murals tell the story of workers’ struggles for justice, but our governor decided they were one-sided. Things are certainly one-sided now and anti-labor laws await their hour to slouch toward Augusta to be born.

If we work for a living, we are labor. It doesn’t matter if we are running a brazing torch or a keyboard or if we are union or not.

We must thank unions that we no longer have children crawling around inside hollow steel masts with rivet bucking bars, going stone deaf.

Union or not, however, anytime we stand together things get better. Inflammatory divide-and-conquer rhetoric has eroded that unified front, but we all want the same things: living wages, good benefits, safe working conditions and dignity.

Here is a suggestion for those who use keyboards: It is simple to go online and get e-images of Judy Taylor’s murals for a screen savers.

When I am away from my desk, they stalk my monitor like vengeful ghosts. The originals were about 288 square feet and typical downloads run maybe one square foot. It would not take many of us to pull up even in area, but one might hope for acres of them beyond the small lobby of the Department of Labor.

Please vote.

Harold “Dusty” Dowse


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