Unions — what’s the big deal?

June 27, 2012

Union, what’s the big deal, and why should I support and hire union craftsmen in 300 words or less?

Unions gave us the weekend and the 40-hour week and protection against working more than seven days in a row without substantial payment and time off for breaks and meals.

As unions negotiated with employers for worker health coverage, the government paved the way for all workers to get company-paid health coverage with the National War Labor Board. During the war in 1942, wages were frozen for all, but employers were allowed to give employees health insurance and other fringe benefits.

Unions were the driving force with the family medical leave act, allowing for the worker to have time off without pay for family medical problems. Before then, your mother could be on her death bed, and your employer could ignore your need to leave, and fire you for tending to your family!

As you laugh at me for holding that picket sign complaining about the lower than standard wages some employers pay out-of-state workers, remind yourself how things would be if there WERE no one thinking of you!

Daniel Robert Smyth (not Smith)
West Side — Rockford

From the June 27-July 3, 2012, issue

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