Letter: Unions have a proud history

Let us all celebrate the good done by United States unions in this country by supporting the Wisconsin protesters and state senators who are fighting those whose sole goal is breaking the Unions. Ask yourself what United States unions have done for you through their organizing and sacrifice:

The labor unions fought to end child labor for 100 years from the 1830s to passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which set a minimum age and maximum hours worked by children.

What groups were instrumental in getting all of us of the labor class the eight-hour day and 40-hour week? Unions in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand had been fighting for this through the early part of the 19th century and United States labor unions got President Grant to sign the eight-hour, day 40-hour week standard in 1869.

Thank the United Mineworkers Union of the 1930 -1940s for your paid vacation and paid holidays - non- existent before then.

Your Social Security benefits are thanks to the united unions effort of FDR during the Depression to educate people of the need of this best of all programs to protect the small wage retired workers of this country.

The railroad and coal workers stopped the wanton killing and maiming of employees through union pressure during the late 1800s. 14,000 workers were killed and 2 million disabled or harmed each of two years before OSHA was enacted in 1968.

Women's rights in the workplace during the mid 1900s, honest pay for an honest day's work and your right to avoid hazardous working conditions all are thanks to union dedication to this country's workers.

None of these gains were just offered by the big businesses of the time; all were hard fought battles by our forefathers for the betterment of all working people in the United States. So when union bashing starts remember - and remind others - what union dedication and sacrifice has meant and still means to your workplace and community and country.

Danny Baker