Tue, June 25

Letter: We can thank the American labor union movement for …


With GOP [Greed Overwhelming Principle] Governors and legislatures in various states engaging in an assault on public sector unions in a coordinated and concentrated effort to destroy unionism in America, the question arises what the average worker in America [regardless of whether or not they belong to a union] would be missing if there were no unions and the union struggle in America had never occurred.

Well, here is my list of the top 10 reasons why unions and unionism are important to the American worker:

1) Health and workplace safety laws [OSHA]

2) Child labor laws that prevent the exploitation of children by employers

3) Health and welfare benefits negotiated for workers in the collective bargaining process:

A) Medical care [for the worker and his family]

B) Dental care [for the worker and his family]

C) Vision care [for the worker and his family]

4) Workers’ compensation to assist a worker injured on the job for rehabilitation and retraining for another job

5) Unemployment benefits to help maintain the family until the worker is reemployed

6) The 40-hour workweek

7) The eight-hour workday

8) Overtime pay for work beyond eight hours and on holidays

9) Pensions so the worker has some retirement security

10) Minimum wage laws to insure the worker earns a livable wage

This is a list of my top 10 reasons for supporting/belonging to a union. There are many other valuable reasons to support unionism in America and all of it will be gone if the neoconservatives championing the Reagan Revolution have their way.

You do not think about all of these “benefits” you take for granted every day of your working life but without them you would very soon recognize the invaluable contribution unions have made to the American worker and his/her improved standard of living.

John A. Bond