Mr. October: Union Member of the Month; Right-to-Work is Wrong!   2 comments

Move over, Reggie Jackson; meet the new Mr. October!

What a great honor!

I am the “member of the month” for the Musicians Association of Seattle (local 76-493, AFM) for 10/13.


As a young folkie back in “the day,” union and labor rights seemed a settled issue.  Social activism at the time was largely centered on civil rights and the Vietnam War which pretty much merged into the overall march toward social justice…which seemed to be progressing quite nicely, thank you!

Now, here in the future things don’t look so good.  The wheels have come off and the engine is sputtering.  Civil rights are being curtailed by massive waves of voter suppression.  We have developed a full scale war economy and the Empire soldiers on.  The labor movement has been assaulted with  malice  unseen since the 1930’s.  Union membership is low…with, by no coincidence here, dramatic reductions in standards of living throughout the country.

I took up the union banner by organizing two Seattle-based benefit concerts to raise funds and awareness for the Wisconsin recall elections.  One of our guest speakers was then Rep. Jay Inslee, our current governor.  Another speaker was Mark Lowry, president of the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, who had earlier recruited me perform at the group’s first annual Labor Day picnic.  My friends and I have been there each year since.  Mark is transit driver in the northwest corner of our state, president of his ATU and my labor mentor.

Since that time I have worn the union label, joining AFM in 2011.  performing at various labor  and social justice events.  Most recently I organized two concerts for the berry pickers up in Skagit County who are waging a courageous fight for dignity and fair pay with Sakuma Bros. Farms…who refuse to negotiate in good faith, employing various and sundry intimidation techniques to stall the process.
Motter Snell, president of my local (76-493, AFM), concerned that the right-to-work forces were concentrating there efforts to undo our tradition of labor progress, going back to the famous Wobbly Spokane actions of 100 years ago, asked me to create a song as a response.  , “Right To Work Is Wrong” was recorded at Audio Logic, a union studio in Seattle, and is currently posted on the website at


Posted October 4, 2013 by garykanter in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Mr. October: Union Member of the Month; Right-to-Work is Wrong!

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  1. Love all the content on your site, Gary, but the blue on blue text is hard to read!
    hope to see you soon
    Mike B.

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