Why Social Security matters to an El Cerrito RN

I am just one of so many. I am working and nearing retirement age. My son has had jobs since he was 15 and actually likes to work but his full-time job currently is "applying and interviewing for jobs." He has been out of work since June of 2008 and that means he has been a "99-weeker " for a long time. 99 weeks is about 1.9 years. He had to return home, of course, to live with me.

My mother, who happily lived in Florida, ran her own business for over 40 years and supported her own mother for many years, found that she was unable to support herself. My 84-year-old mother also has lived with me since September of 2008. We are making it, but many times with little or nothing left when payday nears. Now I am facing the very real possibility that I will be on strike with my coworkers soon because my corporate employer is unwilling to negotiate a reasonable contract.

I see no actual "retirement" down the road for myself. I am just hoping that I will not be phased out of my job by an employer who is trying hard to remove the protections afforded me by contract, such as seniority, to get rid of aging nurses, their loyal employees. I would be lying if I said I am not worried in light of what has been happening across the country with regard to union-busting activities and the disregard for the concerns of the rapidly diminishing middle class. I am very concerned that Corporate America has taken control and there is no evidence that all our money used to bail out the banks and big business appreciated. Jobs? The politicians are not hearing us. We have been drowned out by the corporate voice, the corporate vote, and corporate money.

Registered Nurse
El Cerrito, CA

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