As Americans head into Labor Day under coronavirus restrictions which have cancelled traditional parades and picnics, a Gallup poll released September 3 revealed 65 percent of respondents support unions.
It is the highest rating shown by Gallup since 2003 in its annual polling about unions since it started asking the question in 1936. (Polling was conducted between July 30 and August 12.)
“This is more proof that Americans know union members have answered the call of COVID-19,” stated AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Union members working all kinds of jobs have stayed at their posts when they could while fighting for others – union and non-union – who have not been able to report for duty because of epidemic.
First responders risk their lives transporting the critically ill while nurses, doctors and medical staff fight to save lives.
Grocery store workers continually stock shelves with union-made food, meats, breads, paper goods and so much more.
Government workers keep cities, counties, states and the country running. As witnessed last month following Louisiana’s hurricane and Iowa’s wind storm, Building Trades members are restoring power lines and water supplies, rebuilding bridges and aiding their communities.
Transportation workers are still moving passengers via bus, rail, ferry and air – just not at pre-pandemic rates. Many of these workers want to return to their jobs. Maritime and dock workers are keeping the flow of international commerce moving. Ship builders are constructing new energy-efficient vessels in American yards.
Teachers continue to find new and innovative ways of reaching their students. Communications workers make sure the internet is up and running for the new classrooms as well as virtual meeting rooms.
Despite pressures being revealed daily by news reporters, letter carriers and postal workers deliver the mail to homes and businesses six days a week.
Over this Labor Day weekend, Port Council affiliates are finding ways help their communities during this health crisis. These include food banks, voter information and registration events, and vehicle rallies calling attention to those who have been without a paycheck for months.
In addition, the MTD is working with the AFL-CIO to urge Congress to pass the Heroes Act which would generate badly needed funds for local and state governments to keep operating. The act also supports the U.S. Postal Service.
This Labor Day is unlike any seen in recent decades. Even the backyard cookout (on union-made Weber grills) won’t be attended by as many as before. But, the Labor Movement will be at forefront to keep America moving forward while assisting all workers and their families in need.