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This Labor Day, Recognize Workers and Unions

Labor Day honors working professionals around the country and recognizes their talent, dedication, and drive to make our nation stronger. Workers have made our country what it is today, and the union movement has made it possible for those working professionals to receive fairness and respect in the workplace.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said in a speech to the

The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, government relief for the destitute, and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life. The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome.

The labor movement isn’t merely a historical movement, however. The workforce and workplace continue to evolve, and unions are there to meet the needs of today’s workers who are experiencing new challenges in the twenty-first century.

Unions continue to bring workers together, ensuring a voice in the workplace, fair wages and benefits, and job stability through collective strength in numbers. Individuals become stronger when they work together for the common good.

Some of the easy-to-measure benefits of being part of a union are as follows.

Union workers participating in job-provided health insurance                                    79%
Nonunion workers participating in job-provided health insurance                             49%

Union workers participating in guaranteed (defined-benefit) pension plans            76%
Nonunion workers participating in guaranteed (defined-benefit) pension plans     16%

Union workers with paid sick leave                                                                                     83%
Nonunion workers with paid sick leave                                                                              62%

Read more statistics on the difference unions make from the AFL-CIO.

Click here for Labor Day curriculum resources from NEA.

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