Every Day Is Labor Day – Labor’s Victories Make Every Day a Labor Day
Many of the basic rights and benefits we enjoy were not handed benevolently to workers by employers. It took the work and dedication of Union men and women struggling through history bravely to win these rights.
The labor movement in the United States led struggles to:
- Establish the legal right of workers to form unions and collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions
- Establish the 8 hour work day and overtime pay
- End child labor
- Improve workplace safety and reduce fatalities
- Win workers' compensation benefits for workers injured on the job
- Secure unemployment insurance for workers who lose their jobs
- Secure a guaranteed minimum wage
- Win pensions for workers
- Win health care insurance for workers
- Win paid sick leave, maternity leave, vacations, and holidays
- Win the right for public sector workers to collectively bargain
- Win passage of the Civil Right Acts and Title VII which outlaws job discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin
- Win passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act
- Win passage of the Family Medical Leave Act
The labor movement in the U.S. continues the struggle to:
- Lead coalitions that have won “living wage” laws in Los Angeles, Oakland, Detroit, Boston, and more than 50 other cities and counties across the country
- Lead efforts to curb employers’ abuses of part-time and temporary workers, fighting alongside other advocates for tougher laws to prevent employers from misclassifying workers as independent contractors in order to avoid paying them full wages and benefits
- Eradicate sweatshops at the global level
- Spread the understanding that legalization for undocumented immigrants is a necessary step in helping all workers organize to win better wages, better working conditions, and the full protection of U.S. labor laws
- Call attention to the fact that current immigration laws allow employers to use the threat of deportation against undocumented workers seeking fair treatment at work
Spread the facts.
And this Labor Day, and after, consider getting involved by attending one of the many events sponsored by labor organizations in your area. Consider spreading the word: Vote NO on Prop 32! For more information check out, http://www.unioncounsel.net/developments/private_sector/what_they_dont_want_you_to_know_about_prop_32.html
“Before Unions, there was no such thing as a ‘long weekend.’
In fact, there was no such thing as a weekend.
Take a moment to remember those who worked to build America. And to build the American Dream.
Today, Unions are still fighting to keep that dream alive.
And defend what was won for all of us by sweat and blood and hope. Because that’s what the labor movement is about. Making the kind of history that changes the world for the better. The good kind of history. The useful kind of history. The kind of history you can be proud of. Any day of the week.”
By Lisl Duncan