Happy Labor Day: 10 Great Things Courtesy of Labor Unions Happy Labor Day: 10 Great Things Courtesy of Labor Unions
Lifestyle

Happy Labor Day: 10 Great Things Courtesy of Labor Unions

by Nona Willis Aronowitz

September 7, 2011

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.

4. THE WEEKEND.

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.

Recently on GOOD
The
Daily
GOOD
Sign up to receive the best of GOOD delivered to your inbox each and every weekday
Happy Labor Day: 10 Great Things Courtesy of Labor Unions