Saturday, September 5, 2015

On Labor Day, think of workers, unions

Today I feature a guest blog from my friend Wayne Burgess.
Wayne is a retired UAW member from Electric Boat MDA and the president of the Southeastern Connecticut Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
He is also responsible for my first becoming a union member, when he invited me to join UAW Local 1981, the National Writers Union, during the organizing drive to form AFT Local 5149, the Backus Federation of Nurses.

Wayne wrote this letter to the editor that was printed in the Norwich Bulletin and New London Day this week.
Thank you Wayne.

On Labor Day, let's do more than attend a barbecue and lament the end of summer. Let's commemorate the importance of hard work year-round and how our contributions to the economy make America strong.

This year, let's recognize all of the men and women who are working for a better life-whether they are teachers, miners, firefighters, farm workers, cashiers or electricians. From the early shift to the late shift, in big cities and small communities, we are the ones who keep this country running.

Today we honor the hard work of union members and pay tribute to all the benefits that make our lives better thanks to speaking up together, like the eight-hour workday, access to a living wage, decent benefits and job security.  None of this would be possible without the existence of unions.  Unions level the playing field and help create an economy where everyone, not just a few at the top, can work for a better life.  This Labor Day, let's celebrate unions and all of the wonderful things they've accomplished hand-in-hand with the working families they represent.

Wayne Burgess
Uncasville, CT

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