The rise of the Union movement commenced after the Civil War, which brought awareness for the justice of worker rights in their work environments. To this day, unions continue to fight for safety protections, provide good health insurance for their workers, and create good pension coverage. Labor unions are needed as much today as ever. Unions have created a significant impact on the work lives of not only unionized working families but also non-unionized families. Unions play an important role both in securing labor protections and rights such as safety and health, overtime, and family/medical leave and enforcing these rights on the job. Unions have played a prominent role in the enactment of a broad range of labor laws and regulations covering areas as diverse as overtime pay, minimum wage, the treatment of immigrant workers, health and retirement coverage, civil rights, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation. My mother has been a part of the APWU union for 21 years. Throughout my life, I have looked up to her for her hard work, determination, responsibility, and strength; I believe all these characteristics are omitted in each union member not only in the United States but around the world. At a young age she has taught me the importance of hardwork and perseverance.  It was not until I got my own job that I became truly aware of the needs and rights each worker should be provided. My father has been a part of the UFCW for 24 years. Both of my parents joined the union at the commencement of their jobs and have continued to stay in the union and be an example of what the union represents. Many observers have stated that a strong labor movement is essential to a thriving democracy which can be supported by the following quote declared by John F. Kennedy. ” Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.”


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