REPORT: Five Things Unions Have Done For All Americans

REPORT: Five Things Unions Have Done For All Americans

By Zaid Jilani on Mar 5, 2011 at 8:00 am


Over the past few weeks, right-wing legislators have unleashed a torrent of radical legislation upon the American electorate designed to gut collective bargaining rights and attack the middle class. As these conservatives have launched their assault, a Main Street Movement consisting of ordinary Americans fed up with living in such an unequal country has fought back.

Conservatives have sought to malign this movement by claiming that it is simply defending the parochial interests of labor unions, who they claim are imposing huge costs on taxpayers with little benefit. Yet the truth is that America’s public and private unions have been one of the major forces in building a robust and vibrant middle class and have fought over the past century to improve the lives of all Americans in a variety of ways. ThinkProgress has assembled just five of the many things that Americans can thank the nation’s unions for giving us all: Continue reading “REPORT: Five Things Unions Have Done For All Americans”

Labor Day—September 3, 2012

Labor Day—September 3, 2012

On Labor Day, families gather to mark the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.  Many families use the long Labor Day weekend to squeeze in the last picnic of summer.  Backyard grills sizzle with barbequed chicken as we serve up the last fruits of the growing season.  Yet, Labor Day is also a time to remind ourselves of the roots of the holiday.

 United States of America  3 cent Postage Stamp Commemorating Labor Day ~ Issued 1956 Stamp design © 1956, United States Postal Service

In 1892, New York City workers took an unpaid day off and marched around Union Square in support of a national Labor Day.  After that first Labor Day in New York City, celebrations began to spread to other states as workers fought to win workplace rights and better working conditions and wages at a time when they had little power.

However, in 1893 the United States was suffering through what is termed the Panic of 1893 – a serious economic depression caused by railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing which set off a series of bank failures.  Continue reading “Labor Day—September 3, 2012”