By Evan Henerson

Where do we even begin?

There are all of the obvious reasons…health care insurance, Medicare, the 40 hour work week, equal pay…the list goes on.  These are rights that so many workers take entirely for granted, which is not cool.  Without the blood, sweat, more blood and more sweat expended by organized labor, the picture for American’s working men and women would be very different.


Here’s from the author and political commentator EJ Dionne:

“The union movement has always been attached to a set of values — solidarity being the most important, the sense that each should look out for the interests of all. This promoted other commitments: to mutual assistance, to a rough-and-ready sense of equality, to a disdain for elitism, to a belief that democracy and individual rights did not stop at the plant gate or the office reception room.”

Traditionally we express our gratitude for unions – and take a national holiday - on Labor Day. Thanksgiving is, by its very title, a day of being grateful for a lot of things. We are grateful for unions, today and every day.

The list below of reasons to thank a union – from Union Plus - is fairly comprehensive, but it also probably comes up short. You probably have personal reasons to thank a union. We would love it if you would share them with us.

Happy Thanksgiving.

36 Reasons to Thank a Union:


1.    Weekends without work
2.    All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
3.    Paid vacation
4.    Family and 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 work day
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.    Sexual harassment laws
27.    Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
28.    Holiday pay
29.    Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
30.    Privacy rights
31.    Pregnancy and parental leave
32.    Military leave
33.    The right to strike
34.    Public education for children
35.    Equal Pay Act of 1963 - requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
36.    Laws ending sweatshops in the United States

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