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To the editor:
For many of us in the labor movement, Labor Day is
a time to have picnics and rallies and be with the family. It is
also a time to reflect on the sacrifices of those U.S. workers who
came before us, especially those who lost their lives in the fight
for justice at the workplace.
In 1893, New York City workers took an unpaid day off from work
to march around Union Square in support of a national Labor Day.
Then President Grover Cleveland signed legislation making the first
Monday in September Labor Day.
Labor unions are made up of working people working together to
solve problems, build stronger workplaces and give working families
a real voice. Unions give workers a voice on the job about safety,
and to negotiate their own pay and benefits, like health care and
pensions, and the best way to get the work done. According to the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for year 2010, union workers earned
28 percent more each week than nonunion workers.
The union wage benefit is even greater for minorities and women.
Union women earn 34 percent more than nonunion women.
African-American union workers earn 31 percent more than nonunion
women. Latino union workers earn 51 percent more than nonunion
[to top of second column in this letter]
Union workers are 84 percent more likely to have health care
benefits, compared with 64 percent of nonunion workers. In addition,
78 percent of union workers are more likely to have a defined
benefit pension, compared with 19 percent of nonunion workers.
Unions give working people a voice in government. They represent
working families before lawmakers and make sure politicians never
forget that working families voted them into office.
The record is 100 percent crystal clear that labor unions are
great for America. The proof is in the statistics. Therefore, join a
union. Thank God for labor unions, because they help bring the
lower-wage income families into the middle-class income families.
Let us never forget that the labor movement (unions) brought us
Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International
and Indiana State AFL-CIO vice president
September 04, 2012]
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