In Celebration of Labour Day

My father never had a good word to say about unions. I would sometimes ask him about them, and he would say that they weren’t good for much. He had a nice job at IBM that he had for over 25 years. He would say that sometimes the union guys came around but the benefits they had at IBM were better than what the union guys could offer, so they got laughed out of there. That was, until the recession of the early 90’s happened. It was the first time I remember hearing the word ‘downsizing’ and seeing it in the paper. I don’t know if a union would have protected him, but I know that Dad’s job got cut pretty quick. After that, I don’t remember him laughing about the union guys anymore.

Taken from It's a US list, but a lot of it applies to Canada.

36 Reasons Why You Should Thank a Union

  • Weekends
  • All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
  • Paid Vacation
  • FMLA
  • Sick Leave
  • Social Security
  • Minimum Wage
  • Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
  • 8-Hour Work Day
  • Overtime Pay
  • Child Labor Laws
  • Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
  • 40 Hour Work Week
  • Worker’s Compensation (Worker’s Comp)
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Pensions
  • Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
  • Employer Health Care Insurance
  • Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
  • Wrongful Termination Laws
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  • Whistleblower Protection Laws
  • Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
  • Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
  • Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
  • Sexual Harassment Laws
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Holiday Pay
  • Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
  • Privacy Rights
  • Pregnancy and Parental Leave
  • Military Leave
  • The Right to Strike
  • Public Education for Children
  • Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
  • Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States

In celebration of Labour Day, here’s some articles about worker’s issues

More Workers are Claiming Wage Theft

Unions in Canada face hard times but they’re pushing back: Editorial

Latest Census Data Underscore How Important Unions Are for the Middle Class

Workers came together and things got better

Overworked America: 12 Charts That Will Make Your Blood Boil A lot of this applies to Canada as well.

Freeriding on the labor movement

On Labor Day, a call for courage