Drove by several houses yesterday with “proud union home” signs in their front yard. I am not the sign or bumper sticker type, but all the same I want it known that this is a “proud union blog”.
Many people would argue that we no longer need unions. I disagree. The middle class really started to prosper in the 1940′s and 50′s. And this was because of the people who unionized and fought to be treated and paid fairly. This prosperity continued through the 60′s. Then in the 70′s the cost of living started to outpace what people were being paid. What happened? Well, this is when union membership started to decline. Coincidence? I think not. The middle class has gotten much poorer as unions have disappeared. And much smaller. Unions are good for the economy. Without them there fighting the worker bee gets stomped.
Even Henry Ford, who was a big anti-union guy understood that workers need to be able to afford to buy the products they make. Without unions that would not have happened. Here are a few other things unions fought for that we all enjoy, whether we are in a union or not:
Weekends. Yep people used to work 7 days.
Breaks and lunches. People used to work 7 days without breaks and lunches!
Overtime pay. People use to work 7 days without breaks and lunches and not get paid extra!!
Sexual Harassment Laws.
Age discrimination act of 1967.
Wrongful termination laws.
Health insurance that employers help pay for.
Workplace safety standards.
Child labor laws.
Holiday pay. Labor Day anyone?
Veterans employment and training services.
Equal pay acts of 1963 and 2011.
Laws ending sweatshops.
Whistleblower protection laws.
There are more but you get the idea. Everything that people take for granted in the workplace, common sense things and common decency things are in place because of unions. Think about that while you are eating your lunch and not working at the same time today. Unless that is your choice. Then maybe just concentrate on not spilling.
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