Selected Quotes about Labor

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

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

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

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free. -- Clarence Darrow

Solidarity is not a matter of sentiment but a fact, cold and impassive as the granite foundations of a skyscraper. If the basic elements, identity of interest, clarity of vision, honesty of intent, and oneness of purpose, or any of these is lacking, all sentimental pleas for solidarity, and all other efforts to achieve it will be barren of results. -- 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

Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. -- Eugene V. Debs

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

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

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

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

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.

We must learn to live together as brothers or we are going to perish together as fools. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

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

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

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 superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. -- 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

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

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. Phillip Randolph

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

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

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

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

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