Labor Day celebrates unions and honors the courageous men and women who fought for rights in the workplace. These union brothers and sisters brought an end to child labor, fought for fair wages, negotiated and stood up for better working conditions, Social Security, unemployment insurance and civil rights. It was because of their solidarity and will that our society was transformed and our middle class emerged and grew robust. The fight, however, is far from over. Let us not forget that as labor union members, we are still in a fight to prevent politicians from passing anti-union laws, gutting Social Security, trampling over Medicare and Medicaid, and taking health care from millions.
When unions are weak, bad corporations and anti-union politicians have nothing standing in the way of their pillaging what’s left of working families’ dignity and livelihood. At the same time, those who earn the most see their incomes go up as the middle-class shrinks.
Besides passing anti-union laws, horrible trade deals like NAFTA, and embarking on public relations campaigns that chip away at union strength, just how do the anti-union politicians keep working men and women down? The answer is racism. Racism is the old tried and true way to keep workers divided who should otherwise be united for better economic and working conditions.
It’s up to us to not get caught in that political trap. Stand together no matter what the color, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual preference of your union brothers and sisters. Help lift nonunion working men and women as well because they are alone in their struggle, and that’s how the anti-union politicians and corporations want it.
Labor Day celebrates unions and what working men and women have accomplished together. So, on this Labor Day, stand in solidarity and continue fighting the good fight that makes your workplace safer and fairer, your union stronger and your community better.
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