America Needs Unions
Across the country, Americans are working longer hours for less money and fewer benefits, despite being more productive than ever.
No matter how hard we work, many are finding it more and more difficult to get by and provide for their families; all the while, a handful of CEOs and those who are already rich have seen their salaries and wealth skyrocket.
This is not by accident — big corporations and the wealthy, along with the politicians who do their bidding have rigged our economy and our political system against working people.
This Labor Day we need to confront this system head on, and we can start by protecting and strengthening the freedom of American workers to join together in strong unions. Because when working people have the opportunity to speak up together through unions, we make progress that benefits everyone.
Even when the deck is stacked beyond all odds, the strength in numbers that unions provide lifts up entire communities. In 1968, almost fifty years ago, Dr. King marched alongside striking sanitation workers who demanded the freedom to join a union. It was their union that gave them a voice and the power in numbers to resist the so-called “right-to-work” legislation that to this day drives wages down for working people.
Today, despite unprecedented attacks from so-called “right-to-work” legislation and other political scams, people in unions continue to win rights, benefits, and protections not only for themselves, but also for all working people in and outside of the workplace. When union membership is high, entire communities enjoy wages that represent a fair return on their work and greater social and economic mobility. Unions also use their collective voice to advocate for policies that benefit all working people — like increases to the minimum wage, affordable health care, and great public schools. This is why working people across the country are calling on elected leaders and candidates running for office to publicly support the freedom of working people to join together in unions and make their communities better. From fast food workers demanding $15 an hour and a union to public service workers speaking up for great public schools and service — American workers are standing up.
We know the truth: When the freedom to join together in unions is secure, other freedoms are likely to be too — like the freedom to take off work when sick without the fear of losing your job or pay for the day, or the freedom to choose where to live because high-quality public schools are available to all communities not just the wealthy, or the freedom to retire with dignity.
Unions fight for these freedoms for everyone, and that’s why unions are targeted by those who use their wealth and power to rig our country’s economic rules against working people. If corporations and politicians wipe out our freedom to form unions, they’ll be able to keep driving down wages, killing jobs, defunding our public schools and services, silencing working people at the ballot box, and crippling the fundamental values we celebrate today.
Labor unions are more critical to America’s success than ever. Union members know that freedom is not given, it is fought for and it has to be protected.