Union Songs

Raging Grannies of the Peninsula

An article by Ruth Robertson (2005)

SEIU local 715, The City of Palo Alto Hourly Organizing Committee and the Peninsula Raging Grannies
rallied repeatedly in 2004 until our City hourly workerswon recognition as a bargaining unit on Nov 10, 2004!

"I guess I’m just destined to be permanently temporary," lamented a City of Palo Alto, California library employee, interviewed before she and others won the right to unionize. She said this with a deep sigh after working many years as a temporary employee for our city, with no benefits, no sick days and little hope of ever becoming a permanent employee!

To us Raging Grannies here on the San Francisco Peninsula, this sounded just plain WRONG, and it didn’t take our Granny Gail Sredanovic long to put her thoughts into a song. The familiar tune Joy to the World had been dancing a number in her head recently…

After ten years, are you a temp?
To us, this makes no sense!
This needs to change today
This needs to change today
So certify today, So certify today
So certify, certify
The Union now!

And with that initial composition we were on our way to more verses and more songs, utilizing the zipper song concept to sing our city workers to victory. We have gone on to support other unions here in the bay area. Both the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the Hotel Employees/Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) have acronyms that nicely zip right into the same tune.

Helps workers live
Helps families to survive
Helps get access to benefits
Helps get access to benefits
Respect for workers too
Respect for workers too
Respect, respect for workers too


Many thanks to Ruth Robertson for permission to add this article to the Union Songs web site.

Raging Grannies everywhere write songs to familiar tunes to promote the causes of peace and social justice. To find or create a Raging Granny "gaggle" in your area contact them at: peninsula_raging_grannies@yahoo.com

Visit the Peninsula Raging Grannies website at http://www.PeninsulaRagingGrannies.org

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