January 16, 2009
By Fred Azcarate, Voice@Work Director for the AFL-CIO
In a blog entry for USAService.org, a web site designed to promote President-elect Barack Obama’s call for a national day of service on Monday, January 19, Fred Azcarate shared his own thoughts on how best to honor those who have come before us:
“The Labor Movement – the Folks that Brought You the Weekend,” is more than a bumper sticker cliché. Unions, at our best, are at the forefront of transformational social change. Serving not just our own members but helping to build a more just world. It may be no surprise unions have fought to ensure workers have the freedom to form unions and collectively bargain for better wages and benefits. In fact, we are still working today to enact the Employee Free Choice Act because we know (just as Dr. King knew standing with those sanitation workers in Memphis) that when workers have a voice on the job they help build an economy that works for everyone. But we have also helped lead the fight for the minimum wage, a 40-hour work week, Medicare, Social Security and Civil Rights.