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Labor Quotes

Today, although there are still sweatshops and other inhumane working conditions for many workers around the world, the labor movement has won numerous victories that many of us take for granted, such as the 5-day work week, 8-hour work day, paid holidays and the end of child labor.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time.
-- Grace Abbott

* The first and continuing argument for the curtailment of working hours and the raising of the minimum age was that education was necessary in a democracy and working children could not attend school.
-- Grace Abbott

When you say fiscal responsibility, it seems to me that you really mean rich people keeping their money.
-- Alice Adams

Union gives strength.
-- Aesop

Power goes to two poles -- to those who've got the money and those who've got the people.
-- Saul Alinksy

 

* "As labor creates the wealth of the country, we demand the passage of such laws as may be necessary to protect it in all its rights."
-- John Peter Altgeld

* This is the spirit that is back of all the great struggles of the workers to improve their working conditions. Liberty and freedom for collective bargaining is what they want and what they must have.
-- Mary Anderson

Equal pay for women is a matter of simple justice.
-- Mary Anderson

* Join the union, girls, and together say Equal Pay for Equal Work.
-- Susan B. Anthony

In Unity there is strength; We can move mountains when we're united and enjoy life --Without unity we are victims. Stay united.
-- Bill Bailey

We are not complaining about the work. We want to see our hard work reflected in our pay.
-- Emmett J. Bogdon

* How are we going to make our livings in a society becoming increasingly jobless because of hi-tech and outsourcing? Where will we get the imagination to recognize that for most of human history the concept of Jobs didn’t even exist? Work, as distinguished from Labor, was done to produce needed goods and services, develop skills and artistry, and nurture cooperation.
-- Grace Lee Boggs

The best of wages will not compensate for excessively long working hours which undermine heath.
-- Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

The most important word in the language of the working class is "solidarity."
-- Harry Bridges

* “We are asking people to understand that slavery still exists today; in fact, according to a recent New York Times article, if you count the number of women and children in bonded labor, domestic slavery or sexual slavery today, there are more slaves in the world than at any other time in history.”
--
Charlotte Bunch

 

The quality of employees will be directly proportional to the quality of life you maintain for them.
-- Charles E. Bryan

The role of a labor union is to ensure that the balance is not tipped in favor of the employer when employees do not receive wages and benefits commensurate with their contribution.
-- William Burrus

The history of America has been largely created by the deeds of its working people and their organizations--there is scarcely an issue that is not influenced by labor’s organized efforts or lack of them.
-- William Cahn, Labor historian

* Every advance in this half-century-Social Security, civil rights, Medicare, aid to education, one after another-came with the support and leadership of American Labor.
-- Jimmy Carter

* The strength of the movement is still something that you will never see on camera, because it doesn't happen at the big protests. But the strength of this movement is rooted in the strength of its components and of the campaigns of its components. So there are farm movements around the world; there are environmental movements around the world; labor movements around the world involved in daily struggles around living wages, around protecting the rights of farmers to their seeds, and so on. Those struggles continue on a daily basis; they have not gone away.
-- John Cavanagh


Management doesn't seem to understand the importance of the human factor.
-- Charles, Prince of Wales

* The people united will never be defeated.
-- Cesar Chavez

The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.
-- Cesar Chavez

We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.
-- Cesar Chavez

* When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses.
-- Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm

* Labor Unions are the leading force for democratization and progress.
-- Noam Chomsky

The only thing workers have to bargain with is their skill or their labor. Denied the right to withhold it as a last resort, they become powerless. The strike is therefore not a breakdown of collective bargaining-it is the indispensable cornerstone of that process.
-- Paul Clark

If you object to unfair treatment, you're an ingrate. If you seek equity and fair consideration, you're uppity. If you demand union security, you're un-American. If you rebel against repressive management tactics, they will lynch and scalp you. But if you are passive and patient, they will take advantage of both.
-- Congressman William Clay, Sr.

"The tendency of taxation is to create a class of persons who do not labor, to take from those who do labor the produce of that labor, and to give it to those who do not labor"
-- William Cobbett

* "This is the first great problem of modern democracy...how to get a fair living by reasonable hours of work leaving enough leisure for both childhood and manhood."
-- John R. Commons

The superior person understands rightness; the inferior person understands profit.
-- Confucius

* There is no labor a person does that is undignified; if they do it right.
-- Bill Cosby

Plato told Aristotle no one should make more than five times the pay of the lowest member of society. J.P. Morgan said 20 times. Jesus advocated a negative differential -- that's why they killed him.
-- Graef Crystal

With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in men, than any other association of men.
-- Clarence Darrow

* Well, we see an increasingly weaker labor movement as a result of the overall assault on the labor movement and as a result of the globalization of capital.
-- Angela Davis

* labor is today the most vital and potential power this planet has ever known, and its historic mission is as certain of ultimate realization as is the setting of the sun.
-- Eugene V. Debs

Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and bruised itself. We have been enjoined by the courts, assaulted by thugs, charged by the militia, traduced by the press, frowned upon in public opinion, and deceived by politicians. 'But notwithstanding all this and all these, labor is today the most vital and potential power this planet has ever known, and its historic mission is as certain of ultimate realization as is the setting of the sun.
-- Eugene V. Debs

You have got to unite in the same labor union and in the same political party and strike and vote together, and the hour you do that, the world is yours.
-- Eugene V. Debs

What can Labor do for itself? The answer is not difficult. Labor can organize, it can unify; it can consolidate its forces. This done, it can demand and command.
-- Eugene V. Debs

If CEOs insist that middle class Americans compete with cheap foreign labor, why not outsource the jobs of CEOs? If business is all about cost, they should be the first to volunteer.
-- Lou Dobbs

The fact is whether one looks at this [outsourcing] in terms of men and women, working men and women in this country who are simply being screwed, or whether one looks at this in terms of corporations who are benefiting, the fact is it is certainly not helping the American economy.
-- Lou Dobbs

The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor.
--Thomas Donahue

* People might not get all that they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all that they get.
-- Frederick Douglass

Business knows no pity, and cares for justice only when justice is seen to be better policy. If it had power to control the elements, it would grasp in its iron clutches the waters, sunshine and air and resell them by measure, and at exorbitant prices to the millions of famished men, women and children.
-- W.A. Duncan, in the Cherokee Advocate, 1892

Labor rights are as fundamental as human rights and the job of a democratic country is to protect both.
-- Tony Ehreneich

* Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

To the fervent proponents of ruthless corporate capitalism I say: make a millionaire CEO live as a poor sweatshop worker in Indonesia for one month and then ask him about the merits of the world economic system.
-- Vassilis Epaminondou

If the workers of the world want to win, all they have to do is recognize their own solidarity. They have nothing to do but fold their arms and the world will stop. The workers are more powerful with their hands in their pockets than all the property of the capitalists. . . .
-- Joseph Ettor, IWW organizer

What is a labour victory? I maintain that it is a twofold thing. Workers must gain economic advantage, but they must also gain revolutionary spirit, in order to achieve a complete victory. For workers to gain a few cents more a day, a few minutes less a day, and go back to work with the same psychology, the same attitude toward society is to achieve a temporary gain and not a lasting victory.
-- Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

History has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes stern judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who fought, suffered, were imprisoned, and died for human freedom, against political oppression and economic slavery.
-- Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

* There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.
-- Indira Gandhi

* To a right-winger, unions are awful. Why do right-wingers hate unions? Because collective bargaining is the power that a worker has against the corporation. Right-wingers hate that.
-- Janeane Garofalo

Without liberals we wouldn't have unions. We wouldn't have environmental protections. We wouldn't have seat belts or birth control or the ACLU! Any of these things!
-- Janeane Garofalo

"Poorly paid labor is inefficient labor, the world over"
-- Henry George

* "What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful, and childhood more happy and bright."
-- Samuel Gompers

You can't do it unless you organize.
-- Samuel Gompers

The man who has his millions will want everything he can lay his hands on and then raise his voice against the poor devil who wants ten cents more a day. . . . We do want more, and when it becomes more, we shall still want more. And we shall never cease to demand more until we have received the results of our labor.
-- Samuel Gompers

Our movement is of the working people, for the working people, by the working people. . . . There is not a right too long denied to which we do not aspire in order to achieve; there is not a wrong too long endured that we are not determined to abolish.
-- Samuel Gompers

Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected.
-- Samuel Gompers

Never forget, people DIED for the eight hour workday.
-- Rebecca Gordon

If the workers are organized, all they have to do is to put their hands in their pockets and they have got the capitalist class whipped.
-- William Dudley "Big Bill" Haywood

* Don't waste any time in mourning - organize.
-- Joe Hill

If the workers took a notion they could stop all speeding trains; Every ship upon the ocean they can tie with mighty chains. Every wheel in the creation, every mine and every mill; Fleets and armies of the nation, will at their command stand still.
-- Joe Hill

I have nothing to say for myself, only that I have always tried to make this earth a little bit better.
-- Joe Hill


We want a better America, an America that will give its citizens, first of all, a higher and higher standard of living so that no child will cry for food in the midst of plenty.
-- Sidney Hillman

* Every man is dishonest who lives upon the labor of others, no matter if he occupies a throne.
~ Robert G. Ingersoll

* Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.
-- Molly Ivins

 

I am convinced that if the members of labor organizations would follow some of the tactics of the employers organizations their movement could more successfully withstand its opponents and to progress as it has in the past. But if we are to be successful we must have, above all things, more loyalty and less selfishness.
-- Charles E. James, African-American Union leader, 1907

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.
-- Thomas Jefferson

* My friends, it is solidarity of labor we want. We do not want to find fault with each other, but to solidify our forces and say to each other: "We must be together; our masters are joined together and we must do the same thing." -- Mother Jones

I know that there are no limits to which the powers of privilege will not go to keep the workers in slavery -- Mother Jones

What one state could not get alone, what one miner against a powerful corporation could not achieve, can be achieved by the union.
-- Mother Jones

I want you to pledge to yourselves in this convention to stand as one solid army against the foes of human labor. Think of the thousands who are killed every year and there is no redress for it. We will fight until the mines are made secure and human life valued more than props. Look things in the face. Don't' fear a governor; don't fear anybody. You pay the governor; he has the right to protect you. You are the biggest part of the population in the state. You create its wealth, so I say, "let the fight go on; if nobody else will keep on, I will."
-- Mother Jones, 1913

* “We have words for racism and sexism, but wealth discrimination isn’t fully recognized. It is a bias in favor of the wealthy and against labor, the environment, and the community. Concern for the public good must become the animating force of our economic order.”
-- Marjorie Kelly

No one who works for a living should live in poverty.
-- Senator Edward Kennedy

* The American Labor Movement has consistently demonstrated its devotion to the public interest. It is, and has been, good for all America.
-- 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.
-- John F. Kennedy

In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as 'right-to-work.' It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining... We demand this fraud be stopped.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

* "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

More men are killed by overwork than the importance of the world justifies.
-- Rudyard Kipling

If hard work were such a wonderful thing, surely the rich would have kept it all to themselves.
-- Lane Kirkland

* A working class hero is something to be.
-- John Lennon

Human history is work history. The heroes of the people are work heroes.
-- Meridel Le Sueur

* Let the workers organize. Let the toilers assemble. Let their crystallized voice proclaim their injustices and demand their privileges. Let all thoughtful citizens sustain them, for the future of Labor is the future of America.
-- John L. Lewis

Labor was marching toward the goal of industrial democracy and contributing constructively toward a more rational arrangement of our domestic economy.
-- John L. Lewis

The labor movement is organized upon a principle that the strong shall help the weak. The strength of a strong man is a prideful thing, but the unfortunate thing in life is that strong men do not remain strong. And it is just as true of unions and labor organizations as is true of men and individuals. And whereas today the craft unions of this country may be able to stand upon their own feet and like mighty oaks stand before the gale, defy the lightning, yet the day may come when those organizations will not be able to withstand the lightning and the gale. Now, prepare yourselves by making a contribution to your less fortunate brethren... Organize the unorganized!
-- John L. Lewis

* If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.
-- Abraham Lincoln

* "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
-- Abraham Lincoln


All that harms labor is treason to America.
-- Abraham Lincoln

* The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds.
-- Abraham Lincoln

I have been very interested in labor movement. If I could have wished another life, I would have loved to be a pioneer woman in the beginning of labor movement.
-- Astrid Lindgren

* "All wealth is the product of labor."
-- John Locke


When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him whose.
--Don Marquis

No festival of martial glory or warrior's renown is this; no pageant pomp of war-like conquest, no glory of fratricidal strife attend this day. It is dedicated to peace, civilization and the triumphs of industry. It is a demonstration of fraternity and the harbinger of a better age--a more chivalrous time, when labor shall be best honored and well rewarded.
-- Peter J. McGuire, Father of Labor Day

We must elevate the craft, protect its interests, advance wages, reduce the hours of labor, spread correct economic doctrines and cultivate a spirit of fraternity among the working people regardless of creed, color, nationality or politics. These principles are the foundation principles of our organization.
-- Peter J. McGuire, Father of Labor Day

* "One cannot have a trade union or a democratic election without freedom of speech, freedom of association and assembly. Without a democratic election, whereby people choose and remove their rulers, there is no method of securing human rights against the state. No democracy without human rights, no human rights without democracy, and no trade union rights without either. That is our belief; that is our creed."
-- George Meany

Every piece of progressive social legislation passed by Congress in the 20th century bears a union label.
-- George Meany

Labor never quits. We never give up the fight – no matter how tough the odds, no matter how long it takes.
-- George Meany

The basic goal of labor will not change. It is -- as it has always been, and I am sure always will be -- to better the standards of life for all who work for wages and to seek decency and justice and dignity for all Americans.
-- George Meany

For it is an absurdity to call a country civilized in which a decent and industrious man, laboriously mastering a trade which is valuble and necessary to the common weal, has no assurance that it will sustain him while he stands ready to practice it, or keep him out of the poorhouse when illness or age makes him idle.
-- H.L. Mencken

* "Our motto is to work for peace based on social justice. Our mandate is to improve the condition, health and safety of workers, and our mission is universal."
-- David A. Morse

A Society that gives to one class all the opportunities for leisure and to another all the burdens of work condemns both classes to spiritual sterility.
-- Lewis Mumford

* In less than a century we experienced great movement. The youth movement! The labor movement! The civil rights movement! The peace movement! The solidarity movement! The women's movement! The disability movement! The disarmament movement! The gay rights movement! The environmental movement! Movement! Transformation! Is there any reason to believe we are done?
-- Holly Near

 

The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor.
-- George Orwell

Strike not for a few cents more an hour, because the price of living will be raised faster still, but strike for all you earn, be content with nothing less.
-- Lucy Parsons

The present age handed over the workers, each alone and defenseless, to the unbridled greed of competitors... so that a very few and exceedingly rich men have laid a yoke of almost slavery on the unnumbered masses of non-owning workers.
-- Pope Leo XIII

The important role of union organizations must be admitted: their object is the representation of the various categories of workers, their lawful collaboration in the economic advance of society, and the development of the sense of their responsibility for the realization of the common good.
-- Pope Paul VI

* "Out of our first century of national life we evolved the ethical principle that it was not right or just that an honest and industrious man should live and die in misery. He was entitled to some degree of sympathy and security. Our conscience declared against the honest workman's becoming a pauper, but our eyes told us that he very often did."
-- Frances Perkins

"Our idea of what constitutes social good has advanced with the procession of the ages, from those desperate times when just to keep body and soul together was an achievement, to the great present when "good" includes an agreeable, stable civilization accessible to all, the opportunity of each to develop his particular genius and the privilege of mutual usefulness."
-- Frances Perkins

* “Kids don’t have a little brother working in the coal mine, they don’t have a little sister coughing her lungs out in the looms of the big mill towns of the Northeast. Why? Because we organized; we broke the back of the sweatshops in this country; we have child labor laws. Those were not benevolent gifts from enlightened management. They were fought for, they were bled for, they were died for by working people, by people like us. Kids ought to know that. That’s why I sing these songs. That’s why I tell these stories, dammit. No root, no fruit!”
-- Utah Phillips

* The labor movement means just this: It is the last noble protest of the American people against the power of incorporated wealth.
-- Wendell Phillips

Organize, and stand together. Claim something together, and at once; let the nation hear a united demand from the laboring voice, and then, when you have got that, go on after another; but get something.
-- Wendell Phillips

The right to a job without a right to a living wage is just as weak as the right to a living wage without a job. Both rights must remain intact and linked together.
-- William P. Quigley

* It's incredible to see labor unions and environmentalists getting together to stop the corporate mentality that destroys both jobs and the environment.
-- Bonnie Raitt

* The essence of trade unionism is social uplift. The labor movement has been the haven for the dispossessed, the despised, the neglected, the downtrodden, the poor.
-- A. Philip Randolph

"Nothing counts but pressure, pressure, more pressure, and still more pressure through broad organized aggressive mass action."
-- A. Philip Randolph

* As long as people and the planet are being exploited, and billions of dollars are being made precisely because laborers and the environment are being abused and used up, there will be children going hungry and ecological destruction.
~ Ocean Robbins

As long as people and the planet are being exploited, and billions of dollars are being made precisely because laborers and the environment are being abused and used up, there will be children going hungry and ecological destruction. As long as war and violence are in our hearts and our streets as well as in our nations, as long as corporate greed and unsustainable consumption are at the forefront of our economies, no child will be born into a truly safe, peaceful or loving world.
~ Ocean Robbins

"'If democracy and self-rule are the fundamentals, then why should people give up these rights when they enter their workplace? In politics we fight like tigers for freedom, for the right to elect our leaders, for freedom of movement, choice of residence, choice of what work to pursue - control of our lives, in short. And then we wake up in the morning and go to work, and all those rights disappear. We no longer insist on them. And so for most of the day we return to feudalism. That is what capitalism is - a version of feudalism in which capital replaces land, and business leaders replace kings. But the hierarchy remains. And so we still hand over our lives' labor, under duress, to feed rulers who do no real work.... 'So. We must challenge. It is time. If self-rule is a fundamental value, if simple justice is a value, then they are values everywhere, including in the workplace where we spend so much of our lives'...."
-- Kim Stanley Robinson

* You in the unions do not yet represent all of labor. But I hope some day you will, because I believe that it is through strength, through the fact that people who know what people need are working to make this country a better place for all people, that we will help the world to accept our leadership and understand that, under our form of government and through our way of life, we have something to offer them…
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

I have always felt that it was important that everyone who was a worker join a labor organization.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

I believe you should tell the story of injustices, of inequalities, of bad conditions, so that the people as a whole in this country really face the problems that people who are pushed to the point of striking know all about, but others know practically nothing about.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

The labor movement has a great role to play in our country today.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

* No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level --I mean the wages of decent living.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

It is one of the characteristics of a free and democratic nation that is have free and independent labor unions.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

It is to the real advantage of every producer, every manufacturer and every merchant to cooperate in the improvement of working conditions, because the best customer of American industry is the well-paid worker.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

* "The internal and external ethics of an organization must be the same; you cannot talk about minimum wages for poor people and not pay minimum wages to your own workers."
-- Aruna Roy

"We call people who work with mud and earth, and sand and stone, unskilled labor in India. I cannot in this lifetime wield the implements that they use either to dig the earth or to shovel the earth. I can't carry the loads. That's extremely specialized. But they are called unskilled, and I am called skilled because I can write with the pen. I cannot accept this. I find it extremely non-egalitarian to say they are unskilled and I am skilled. It's only a way of looking at it. Knowledge is also like that."
-- Aruna Roy

Business often does a good job supporting communities: the arts, universities, and scientific enterprises... But that philosophy has rarely reached poor countries. Even businesses that are enlightened in their home bases see Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia as places to exploit natural resources or use cheap labor.
-- Jeffrey Sachs

You take my life when you do take the means whereby I live.
-- William Shakespeare

"Labour was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased."
-- Adam Smith

* ...180 million kids are engaged in the worst forms of child labour. Put it all together and it is not only morally unacceptable, but politically dangerous.
-- Juan Somavia

* Decent work is at the heart of the search for dignity for the individual, stability for the family and peace in the community
-- Juan Somavia

What we need is political leadership which can give guidance to the development of global governance. We need business leadership which goes beyond shareholder value to understand the needs and fears of other stakeholders and their communities.
-- Juan Somavia

Nearly one billion women and men, a third of the world‘s workforce, are either unemployed or unable to earn enough to keep themselves out of extreme poverty. There are 100 million new entrants into the labour market each year. Up to 90 percent in some regions are in the informal economy. 180 million kids are engaged in the worst forms of child labour. Put it all together and it is not only morally unacceptable, but politically dangerous
-- Juan Somavia

Labour markets are about people. And people have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.
-- Juan Somavia

A key issue in managing globalization is therefore how we organise the global investmentand labour markets to meet the needs of flexibility for enterprises, security for workers and quality for consumers. We need new proactive policies that focus directly on how authorities in the public and private sphere can blend economic and social policies with an enabling environment for private initiative to create market opportunities for Decent Work.
-- Juan Somavia

"Without labor nothing prospers."
-- Sophocles

When we talk about equal pay for equal work, women in the workplace are beginning to catch up. If we keep going at this current rate, we will achieve full equality in about 475 years. I don't know about you, but I can't wait that long.
-- Lya Sorano

Unions have been the only powerful and effective voice working people have ever had in the history of this country.
-- Bruce Springsteen

I am weary seeing our laboring classes so wretchedly housed, fed, and clothed, while thousands of dollars are wasted every year over unsightly statues. If these great man must have outdoor memorials, let them be in the form of handsome blocks of buildings for the poor
-- Elizabeth Cady Stanton

No man can call himself liberal, or radical, or even a conservative advocate of fair play, if his work depends in any way on the unpaid or underpaid labor of women at home, or in the office.
-- Gloria Steinem

Today I send this message to every emerging global corporation: "justice; family, community, and union" are the same in every language and, wherever you go and whatever you do, a new global labor movement is coming to find you.
-- Andy Stern, SEIU President

We can bring to earth a new world from the ashes of the old because our union transforms us the powerless into the powerful. And I ask you to join together in using all that power--all that strength to make the dreams of all workers and communities around the world come true.
-- Andy Stern, SEIU President

* "I am also very proud to be a liberal. Why is that so terrible these days? The liberals were liberators—they fought slavery, fought for women to have the right to vote, fought against Hitler, Stalin, fought to end segregation, fought to end apartheid. Liberals put an end to child labor and they gave us the five day work week! What's to be ashamed of?"
-- Barbra Streisand

What is economics? A science invented by the upper class in order to acquire the fruits of the labor of the underclass.
-- August Strindberg, 1884

When fewer workers have unions, the standard of living falls for everyone and the gap between the rich and poor grows.
-- John Sweeney, 2003

As it has over the decades, the union movement stands for the fundamental moral values that make America strong: quality education for our children, affordable health care for every person—not just some—an end to poverty, secure pensions and wages that enable families to sustain the middle-class life that has fueled this nation’s prosperity and strength. Union members and other working family activists don’t just vote our moral values—we live them. We fight for them, day in, day out. Our commitment to economic and social justice propels us and everything we do.
-- John Sweeney, November 2004

We should measure the success of our economy by the breadth of our Middle Class and the scope of opportunity offered to the poorest child to climb into that Middle Class.
-- John Sweeney

It is time that all Americans realized that the place of labor is side by side with the businessman and with the farmer, and not one-degree lower.
-- Harry S Truman

In an industrial society which confuses work and productivity, the necessity of producing has always been an enemy of the desire to create.
-- Raoul Vaneigem

"Labor wants also pride and joy in doing good work, a sense of making or doing something beautiful or useful - to be treated with dignity and respect as brother and sister"
-- Thorstein Veblen

We desire peace - and that is why we have never resorted to physical force. We crave for justice - and that is why we are so persistent in the struggle for our rights. We seek freedom of convictions - and that is why we have never attempted to enslave man's conscience, nor shall we ever attempt to do so. We are fighting for the right of the working people to association and for the dignity of human labor. We respect the dignity and the rights of every man and every nation. The path to a brighter future of the world leads through honest reconciliation of the conflicting interests and not through hatred and bloodshed. To follow that path means to enhance the moral power of the all-embracing idea of human solidarity.
-- Lech Walesa

Labor in this country is independent and proud. It has not to ask the patronage of capital, but capital solicits the aid of labor.
-- Daniel Webster

* A downtrodden class... will never be able to make an effective protest until it achieves solidarity.
-- H.G. Wells
* While we are fighting for freedom, we must see, among other things, that labor is free.
-- Woodrow Wilson

* If capitalism is fair then unionism must be. If men have a right to capitalize their ideas and the resources of their country, then that implies the right of men to capitalize their labor.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

* The strike, the boycott, the refusal to serve, the ability to paralyze the functioning of a complex social structure-these remain potent weapons against the most fearsome state or corporate power.
-- Howard Zinn


Workers Day - May 1
Labor Day
- 1st Mon in September

 

 

Quotes for a Better World

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