It's Labor Day. Thank a Union Member.

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Because it’s so easy to take for granted some of labor’s most impactful victories we all enjoy.

Here are 35 reasons why we all should love unions.

 

These are important aspects of modern life–protections, benefits, opportunities–that unions fought for and won. For all of us. Whether we belong to a union or not.

 

So if you enjoy your weekends, or paid vacation time, or parental leave, you have unions to thank. We would all do well to remember that this list is made possible by the power of collective bargaining.

 

  1. Weekends off

  2. All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks

  3. Paid vacation

  4. Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  5. Sick leave

  6. Social Security

  7. Minimum wage

  8. Civil Rights Act/Title VII – prohibits employer discrimination

  9. 8-hour workday

  10. Overtime pay

  11. Child labor laws

  12. Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)

  13. 40-hour work week

  14. Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)

  15. Unemployment insurance

  16. Pensions

  17. Workplace safety standards and regulations

  18. Employer health care insurance

  19. Collective bargaining rights for employees

  20. Wrongful termination laws

  21. Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

  22. Whistleblower protection laws

  23. Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) – prohibits employers from using a lie detector test on an employee

  24. Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)

  25. Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises)

  26. Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

  27. Holiday pay

  28. Employer dental, life, and vision insurance

  29. Privacy rights

  30. Pregnancy and parental leave

  31. Military leave

  32. The right to strike

  33. Public education for children

  34. Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 – requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work

  35. Laws ending sweatshops in the United States

People are starting to recognize once again the value and power of unionization. And this is why we're seeing so many efforts of workers in many disparate industries who are trying to organize — and an equal pushback from powerful business leaders and politicians. Let's keep the fight going.

 

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

It is collective bargaining–which is outlawed in several states–that has enabled so many of the important aspects of American life that we all enjoy.

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