Leaders see cause for optimism as workers unite, union support increases

Posted Sep. 6, 2022 by

Growing numbers of people are discovering the union difference––better wages and benefits, a voice on the job, a secure retirement, and stronger and healthier communities. Public approval of labor unions in our country is on the rise, reaching 71 percent according to a new Gallup poll that was released just before the Labor Day weekend. That’s the highest level since 1965 and three points higher than just one year ago.

"Working people have been through the wringer these last few years. A devastating public health crisis has demanded more and more of us, but we’ve very often gotten less and less in return," wrote AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders in his Labor Day message in Newsweek. But Saunders reminded the 1.4 million AFSCME public servant union members across the nation that there's cause for great optimism as "the hardships of the pandemic have lit a fire under working people, who are organizing with momentum we haven't seen in years."

AFL-CIO Pres. Liz Shuler says there is cause for much celebration as "our union movement that is delivering results, with workers coming together and organizing to make our jobs better, across the country." She thanks union workers across the nation noting that worker victories have been achieved "thanks to your activism, organizing and advocacy."

This past weekend, OCSEA members celebrated the power of unions at every corner of Ohio. OCSEA activists celebrated their union pride, from a massive AFL-CIO Labor Day celebration at the Great American Ball Park with AFL-CIO's Shuler and Sec. of Labor Marty Walsh, to hometown festivals and parades from Lorain to Newark. This included OCSEA activist Brian Weiss (pictured far right), a Chapter 5700 Executive Board member, who spent Sunday with his family among his union brothers and sisters at the ballpark. OCSEA District 2 gave away tickets to 200 OCSEA members for the Reds event with the Cincinnati AFL-CIO. The event honored workers and the power of a union voice on the job.

As union approval and worker organizing rises coast-to-coast, it was apparent this past Labor Day weekend that workers are putting 'labor' back in Labor Day. Mainstream media couldn't help but remind viewers of the power of union members and worker voices as workplaces change and evolve, not only because of the pandemic, but because workers are seeing their value and wising up to the exploitation that can inflict them and their co-workers.