Quotes in Support of Labor Unions

Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

It is one of the characteristics of a free and democratic nation that it have free and independent labor unions.

 

Pope Paul VI:

The important role of union organizations must be admitted: their object is the representation of the various categories of workers, their lawful collaboration in the economic advance of society, and the development of the sense of their responsibility for the realization of the common good.

 

Abraham Lincoln:

The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds.

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower:

Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.

 

"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."                              

 Martin Luther King Jr.

 

"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."  

Molly Ivins

 

Jimmy Carter:

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.
-- Robert Alan

 

The best of wages will not compensate for excessively long working hours which undermine heath.
-- Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

 

The quality of employees will be directly proportional to the quality of life you maintain for them.
-- Charles E. Bryan

 

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 laborís 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.
-- Paul Clark

 

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.

 

Never forget, people DIED for the eight hour workday.
-- Rebecca Gordon

 

I want you to pledge to yourselves in this convention to stand as one solid army against the foes of human labor. Think of the thousands who are killed every year and there is no redress for it. We will fight until the mines are made secure and human life valued more than props. Look things in the face. Don't' fear a governor; don't fear anybody. You pay the governor; he has the right to protect you. You are the biggest part of the population in the state. You create its wealth, so I say, "let the fight go on; if nobody else will keep on, I will."
-- Mother Jones, 1913

 

The American Labor Movement has consistently demonstrated its devotion to the public interest. It is, and has been, good for all America.
-- John F. Kennedy

 

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

 

If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.
-- Abraham Lincoln