AFSCME President Lee Saunders Counters Wall Street Journal Op-Ed 09/16/2012

Paul Moreno: How Public Unions Became So Powerful
Source: Wall Street Journal

Public-employee unions and the entire labor movement play a vital role in broadening the middle class in our nation. It is no coincidence that workers' wages have risen when unions are strong and have fallen when unions and workers' rights are weakened.

When unionization was at its height in 1955, the wealthiest Americans took in a third of the nation's income. But by 2007, after decades in which employers honed the cynical art of union-busting, 12% of workers were unionized and the wealthiest 10% took in half of the nation's income.

Labor unions don't only fight for our members; we have been at the forefront of all social justice movements because workers' rights and civil rights are connected. Martin Luther King Jr. joined the striking sanitation workers of Afscme Local 1737 in Memphis in 1968 and ultimately gave his life in service of the workers' struggle because he understood their fight was about more than pay. It was about equality.