36 Reasons Why You Should Thank a Union...

I often hear people on these boards say unions have no relevance in their lives anymore.

That is why I want to share with you the following link. Even if you are against unions, you have to admit the list is thought-provoking. Please read:



As a union member, I’m profoundly aware of their benefits. A co-worker is currently invoking her Weingarten rights to keep her job; in a non-union shop, she’d’ve been fired.

On the other hand, they tend to get in the way when an individual employee needs a concession that is acceptable to management and the employee (What? You want to give up 30 minutes of a 60-minute lunch! You can’t violate the contract!), and my local is heavily in favor of salaried employees vs. us hourly workers, even though the backbone of my employer’s business relies on hourly workers. I’ve also been hurt by a union; I was thrown under the bus because the party responsible for a major mistake was a union steward and management felt it safer to go after me than to risk the wrath of the union.

So I’m kinda ambivalent on the issue. On the one hand, they’ve got their pluses, but they’ve got minuses, too.

Unions, because they are run by people, are just politicians by another name. In the socialist view of things they are little different to TPTB :

Union-affiliated officials acknowledge Detroit “rescue” plan will involve large pension cuts

from http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/01/25/pens-j25.html

No thanks.

No I don’t. But is that the debate? Read your link and argue whether or not it’s “thought provoking”?

Well, there was that time my department wanted to give me a substantial raise, and the union successfully blocked it. Why should I thank a union again?

There was the time I was a kid, taking a ride on a Grey Hound bus during a strike. Coming out of the Boston bus station we had to drive thru a picket line while several members made a point of taking pictures of the driver while the rest of the line started shouting “Fuck you, Nigger!” at him as well as similar pleasantries.

Should the driver have thanked them for that?

Should I have thanked them for showing that many of the stereotypes about unions were true?

This is really bad logic. Someone follows a stereotype, so that confirms the stereotype is true? Is that really how you think?

And also, your little anecdote somehow negates the various reasons people have to be thankful for the past work done by unions?


Union member.

Wish more Americans didn’t vilify the notion.

But it is to their own detriment.

Curious how people today are so willing to act against their own best interests.

Union member too.

People have to take the good with the bad. Being a Union member means I benefit in my job in terms of pay, benefits, and security. But it also means I have to be willing to express solidarity for fellow union brothers/sisters on issues that do not necessarily benefit me at the moment.

All 35 items on that list were new, revolutionary ideas----a couple generations ago.
Just like abolishing slavery was once a new idea, a few generations earlier.

But once the new ideas are no longer new, they become just norms acceptable by everybody.
And then, you no longer have to keep saying “thank you” to the unions for inventing them, just like we no longer have to keep saying thank you to the soldiers who fought the Civil War.

Those who forget the lessons of the past…
Yes, I’m union. Really appreciating being in a pension plan, as they are vanishing for so many workers. There are many reasons American workers find themselves on a treadmill to nowhere, and the decline of unions is certainly one factor. Of course, generally we can count on management to look out for us as well as they look out for themselves:rolleyes:

Union member here. Like anything, I don’t like or agree with every single thing my union does BUT my life is much better for being a union member. Count me as another who, like citizenzen, is astounded at how often people will act against their own best interests and demonize those who do have the wherewithal to act in their own best interests.

Do you really think that if there were no unions and no laws preventing it, that employers wouldn’t return to the abusive practices of the past? Especially now, with jobs hard to find, many employers would love to do so.

Okay, I’ve read the list of reasons to thank a union. Tellingly, it does not explain why any of these are reasons to thank a union. For example, the first thing on the list is “weekends”. Why should I thank a union for “weekends”? The website gives no explanation.

Even at their peak, unions never included a majority of American workers, or came close to doing so. American prosperity has increased for centuries, and conditions for average people have improved. Unions were obviously not the main driving force behind this trend.

Should thank Henry Ford. Or the Jews for having Shabbat and showing others how it’s done.

We don’t know enough about your situation to tell you why you should thank unions. Do you have a union job? If so, you should thank unions for seeing that you have a decent wage. In that case it would be unfortunate that the union prevented you from earning a raise (what happened there?) but a single instance of losing out on a chance for a pay raise certainly doesn’t counterbalance the fact that a whole lot of decent paying jobs exist in the first place thanks to unions.

Oh and on the downside, I’m not union so I don’t have my own stories but my mother’s boyfriend was an ironworker and the story he tells to illustrate the drawbacks is when men stood up in a union meeting to demand to know what their (elected) leaders had done with their missing pension funds they didn’t receive any answers but instead were escorted from the room by burly union brothers.

Obviously unions are far from perfect.

Interesting that they claim Social Security as something for which unions are responsible. The official history of Social Securityon their website makes no mention of unions pushing for it. Indeed, one of the major proponents behind pushing the idea was fanatically anti-union, Father Coughlin.

So this bland assertion that we need to thank unions for Social Security is not nearly as straightforward as it seems.


Or, from the same website, you could go here: http://www.ssa.gov/history/reports/schlabach6.html

It was much more complicated than your brief cherry-picked quotations indicate, indeed!