Labor unions are responsible for the many benefits of our jobs that we enjoy today. Even if you only work part time in the worst job possible, you still enjoy at least some of the fruits that labor has fought for. Here are 20 of them.
1. Minimum Wage: Without federally mandated minimum wage, we’d still be working for pennies.
2. Child Labor Laws: Without these laws, children would be hired as cheap labor.
3. Paid Vacations: Did you go on a cruise this year? Perhaps to the Grand Canyon or another country? Thank a union.
4. Employer Health Care, Dental, and Vision Insurance: If you have a medical, dental, or vision care plan through your employer, your a lucky person. All because of organized labor.
5. Pensions: If you were able to retire at 65 and get pension checks in the mail, congratulations, you’re living proof that unions work.
6. Safety Conditions: Do you work at a potentially hazardous job but have safety regulations in place to protect you? If so, unions are responsible for your continued safety.
7. Collective Bargaining: Just having the right to negotiate with your employer is a benefit guaranteed by a union.
8. Weekends: If you have weekends off to spend with your families, a labor union is responsible for giving you that time off.
9. Sick Leave: Did you get to use a work provided sick day to get well? Unions fought for that too.
10. Overtime: Are you able to work overtime and get paid even more for it? Thank a union.
11. 8 Hour Work Day: Without unions, we’d all be working non-stop 24/7. Because of unions you’re able to go home and spend some time at home with family and friends before you catch 6-8 hours of sleep.
12. 40 Hour Work Week: Just like number 11, without unions, we’d never have a day off and work would encompass our entire life.
13. Unemployment Benefits: Are you unemployed but receive unemployment benefits to care for your family until you find another job? One word. Unions.
14. Wrongful Termination Laws: Because of unions, you can’t be fired for stupid reasons, like the color of your skin or because you make too much money.
15. Pay Raises: Unions are responsible for your ability to ask for and receive pay raises.
16. Holiday Pay: Do you at least get some holidays off? If so, thank a union.
17. Pregnancy and Parental Leave: In some countries, women give birth on the job and have to go back to work the next day. Corporations would make women do the same thing here if not for the determination of a union.
18. The Right To Strike: We have the right to organize and protest against the government. A union fought for your right to organize and strike against your employer.
19. Equal Pay For Women: Women finally get equal pay for equal work. Thank a union.
20. Laws Ending Sweatshops: Because of unions, sweatshops, which employ cheap labor with harsh conditions, are illegal.
Every right that a worker has in the workplace is all because a union fought hard to get it. As Republicans continue to wipe out unions and weaken them, they also weaken us and our ability to fight back against unfair business practices. We are at risk of losing all the things that unions fought long and hard to secure. Even our jobs are at risk. Because of unions, many of the jobs Americans still hold, have not been outsourced overseas. Unions protect jobs in America and where there are unions, there are jobs. Because the private sector has largely wiped out unions, big corporations are able to lay off American workers and give those jobs to cheap labor overseas. If you want a job, or want to keep yours, organize or join a union and fight for your right to work. Unions fight for the American worker, therefore they fight for us. Anyone who says that unions are un-American only wants to get rid of the above list so that they can make ridiculous profits off the backs off a cheap labor workforce. If you support American workers, American jobs, and the continued prosperity of the American people, support labor unions.