Here is one textbook definition of a labor union: An association, combination or organization of employees who band together to secure favorable wges, improved working conditions and better work hours.
But a labor union is much more than a textbook definition. Union members are your family members and your neighbors. They live in the same community as you. Union members are teachers, nurses, highway workers, factory workers, and courthouse workers, just to name a few. And these very same people who are in a labor union also go to church with you, coach your children, and are involved in your community.
When people band together to secure favorable wages, we as a community all benefit. Small business owners benefit because there is more demand for their products or services. Unionized workplaces help raise the wages for other workers in the community. Unions are an ecomomic stimulus, and communities thrive because of them.
Unions built the middle class, and secured the eight-hour work day, the weekend, and the minimum wage. They helped abolish child labor and secured workplace protection from unsafe working conditions. All of us have benefited from labor unions in the past, and this continues to this day. Keep our community strong and vibrant. Support the hard working men and women who proudly call themselves union members.
We write this on behalf of the Southwest Central Labor Council representing the following AFL-CIO affiliated unions: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the United Food and Commerical Workers, Education Minnesota, International Machinist and Aerospace Workers, and Operating Engineers Local 49.
John Spiegelhoff is an AFSCME labor representative who resides in Worthington.
Dale Moerke of Luverne is employed by the Western Minnesota/Red River Valley Area Labor Council.