Happy Labor Day: 10 Great Things Courtesy of Labor Unions

Let's remember all the good stuff we've gotten from unions.

Just in time for Labor Day, Gallup released a poll revealing that just 52 percent of Americans approve of labor unions, a percentage that's nearly the lowest since Gallup started polling in 1936. Predictably, the gap widens once you look at political affiliation, with 78 percent of Democrats giving unions props as opposed to just 26 percent of Republicans.

Unions haven't had the best luck lately, but on this Labor Day, we give you 10 things we wouldn't have without them:

1. The Fair Labor Standards Act, which protected minors against child labor.

2. The concept, if not the total reality, of an eight-hour work day.

3. Time and a half for working overtime.


5. Health insurance and other fringe benefits given by employers.

6. Sick days.

7. Minimum wage and living wage laws (and any increases to either).

8. Worker safety laws (and workers' compensation when you do get hurt on the job).

9. Social Security and Medicare (which unions both pushed for and spend their time defending).

10. The benefit for which unions get criticized the most: Protection from being fired for no good reason.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's tons more here.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user Gexydaf.