The Labor movement or labour movement consists of two main wings: the trade union movement (British English) or labor union movement (American English), also called trade unionism or labor unionism on the one hand, and the political labour movement on the other.
- In the wake of teachers’ strikes in a number of states, recent polling shows public support for unions at 64 percent—the highest, except for a few blips, in half a century. These are important developments. Labor is finally stirring. And Americans are on to the fact that Trump’s faux populism is actually all about rigging the game in favor of the wealthy.
- Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and fallen and bruised itself, and risen again; been seized by the throat and choked and clubbed into insensibility; enjoined by courts, assaulted by thugs, charged by the militia, shot down by regulars, traduced by the press, frowned upon by public opinion, deceived by politicians, threatened by priests, repudiated by renegades, preyed upon by grafters, infested by spies, deserted by cowards, betrayed by traitors, bled by leeches, and sold out by leaders, but notwithstanding all this, and all these, it is today the most vital and potential power this planet has ever known, and its historic mission of emancipating the workers of the world from the thraldom of the ages is as certain of ultimate realization as is the setting of the sun.
- Eugene V. Debs, "An Ideal Labor Press," The Metal Worker (May 1904).
- To speak for labor; to plead the cause of the men and women and children who toil; to serve the working class, has always been to me a high privilege; a duty of love.
- Today in America, unions have a secure place in our industrial life. Only a handful of reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions and depriving working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice. I have no use for those -- regardless of their political party -- who hold some vain and foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when organized labor was huddled, almost as a hapless mass. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice.
- [T]he Nazi years had already accustomed Germans to an all-encompassing labor organization through the Labor Front, which had enjoyed considerable appeal among workers, not least because of its insistence on broad inclusiveness and equality between ‘workers of the hand and the mind.
- David E. Barclay and Eric D. Weitz, editors, Between Reform and Revolution German Socialism and Communism from 1840 to 1990, Berghahn Books, Chapter 16, Diethelm Prowe (1998) p. 402
- The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the second largest teachers’ union in the country, passed a resolution in support of the Green New Deal at its biennial convention at the end of July. The Green New Deal, federal legislation introduced in early 2019, would create a living-wage job for anyone who wants one and implement 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030. The endorsement is huge news for both Green New Deal advocates and the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States. The AFT’s endorsement could be a sign of environmental activists’ growing power, and it sends a message to the AFL-CIO that it, too, has an opportunity to get on board with the Green New Deal.... The Green New Deal’s focus on investing in high-speed rail could mean significant potential work for electricians and rail workers like Liberato. The legislation also calls for “repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States,” which means fixing bridges and roads, retrofitting buildings, and updating sewage and water systems. And the AFT’s green school buildings campaign will need the support of building trades unions, like electricians, plumbers, roofers, and boilermakers. All of this infrastructure work means more union jobs — but only if the labor movement acknowledges the true magnitude of climate change and decides to play a leadership role in fighting it.
- Labor’s current focus is getting Joe Biden elected... He promises to “fulfill our obligation to workers… who powered our industrial revolution and decades of economic growth” by securing coal miners’ pensions and benefits. And he also promises to “put people to work by enlisting them to help fight the pandemic, including through a Public Health Jobs Corps.” But unlike the Green New Deal legislation, his platform has no explicit promise of a job for all who want one... “What we need to do is pressure Biden into a Jobs for All program, and the green is not in the headline, but it’s incorporated into it. The environmentalists will read the fine print, and maybe labor can look at it and say, this is what we need.”
- History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them
- Martin Luther King Jr.,Speaking to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) on Dec. 11, 1961 Source: Now Is the Time. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Labor in the South: The Case for a Coalition. Booklet prepared by the Southern Labor Institute under the auspices of the Labor Subcommittee of the King Holiday Commission, designed by the AFT and printed by AFSCME. January 1986.
- The organized workers of America, free in their industrial life, conscious partners in production, secure in their homes and enjoying a decent standard of living, will prove the finest bulwark against the intrusion of alien doctrines of government.
- Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden unveiled a $2 trillion energy plan Tuesday with a heavy focus on the Green New Deal agenda... Speaking in Wilmington, Del., Biden promised a “clean energy revolution,” which he said would deliver millions of jobs... Biden detailed what he called a pro-union platform that would replace the US government’s car fleet with American-made electric vehicles... The former veep on Tuesday promised to “create millions of high-paying union jobs by building a modern infrastructure and a clean energy future” and described his vision of a US covered in 500,000 electric car charging stations and thriving factories producing green products.
- The quality of his being one with his people, of having no artificial or natural barriers between him and them, made it possible for him to be a leader without ever being or thinking of being a dictator.
- Frances Perkins, The Roosevelt I Knew (1946), ch. 17.
- The labor movement has long been struggling in the U.S., as fewer workers join unions and as high-profile organizing drives, like a June attempt to unionize Volkswagen employees in Tennessee, fall short. But American workers, feeling left behind as the economy grows around them, are joining together to demand a bigger slice of the pie. On Sept. 16, 50,000 General Motors workers walked off the job in their first strike since 2007, protesting idled plants and low wages. Nearly 8,000 Marriott workers went on strike in eight cities last year, while 31,000 supermarket employees in the Northeast did the same in early 2019. In the past year, tens of thousands of teachers walked out of their classrooms to demand better pay and funding. In all, nearly half a million workers participated in strikes and work stoppages last year, the most since 1986. The labor disruptions show no sign of abating. [...] The recent labor unrest is in part fueled by uneven economic growth. While companies are prospering and the stock market hovers near all-time highs, the benefits haven’t been felt by many workers, who are often stuck in temporary jobs with no benefits. Paradoxically, the strong economy also emboldens workers. [...] When more jobs are available and unemployment is low, people feel more confident in demanding better pay and benefits. [...] Many nonunion workers also want change. Those in the gig economy, many of whom are considered- independent contractors and thus not eligible to unionize or receive benefits, have been demanding higher pay and steadier hours.