Agitate, Educate, and Organize ~OO~
“History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them.”
~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds.”
“Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.”
“Every advance in this half-century: Social Security, civil rights, Medicare, aid to education… one after another- came with the support and leadership of American Labor.”
“Today, although there are still sweatshops and other inhumane working conditions for many workers around the world, the labor movement has won numerous victories that many of us take for granted, such as the 5-day work week, 8-hour work day, paid holidays and the end of child labor.”
“The history of America has been largely created by the deeds of its working people and their organizations–there is scarcely an issue that is not influenced by labor’s organized efforts or lack of them.”
~William Cahn, Labor historian
“The only thing workers have to bargain with is their skill or their labor. Denied the right to withhold it as a last resort, they become powerless. The strike is therefore not a breakdown of collective bargaining-it is the indispensable cornerstone of that process.”
“If you object to unfair treatment, you’re an ingrate. If you seek equity and fair consideration, you’re uppity. If you demand union security, you’re un-American. If you rebel against repressive management tactics, they will lynch and scalp you. But if you are passive and patient, they will take advantage of both.”
~Congressman William Clay, Sr.
“Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.”
~John F. Kennedy