Letter: Strong unions mean strong middle class - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letter: Strong unions mean strong middle class

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Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 1:06 pm

We need to revitalize and strengthen America’s unions. In 1945, more than one-third of all Americans were union. Today, just under 12 percent are.

Our grandparents/parents respected unions, even being non-members! They knew that giving a voice to the employees was key to having an economy that could maximize profit without minimzing people. By forcing employers to bargain fairly with the employees, our elders helped to bid up wages and ensure safe working environments and better treatment for all workers.

The middle class itself is largely the outcome of the pay wages and benefits that the labor movement fought for so valiantly in the 20th century.

The labor movement is not perfect; it had to battle racism and sexism within its ranks. And yet, unions are the backbone of a secure middle class in America and worldwide.

Unions are under attack by the forces that back the 1 percent. Fearing the power of organized labor to counterbalance the power of big money, the 1 percent wants to defund, delegitimize, and destroy the protectors of the working families. The American dream is not that a few of us will get to be rich, but that ALL of us will have a fair portion of the good things in life!

Unions have never stopped the battle for the American dream. They are one key to a thriving middle class.

Don Bevineau


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