Our Children Need to Hear Us Talk About Unions

June 4, 2015

By Laura Reyes

Recently, a friend shared on Facebook a roughly 35-year-old photograph of himself as a toddler, toted in his father’s arms on a union picket line. In our current climate of relentless attacks on unions, it seemed simultaneously quaint and bold. A colleague of mine, a woman who works in the labor movement and was due to speak at her daughter’s career day at school, wondered whether she should even mention that she worked at a union, for fear of some parents getting rankled.

We’ve come a long way in this country, but certainly not always in the right direction when it comes to speaking openly and proudly about the value of unions. At a time when unionization hovers at 11 percent and it’s barely over 6 percent in the private sector, merely talking about unions can seem like a radical act, yet it’s a conversation we cannot abandon, especially when it comes to talking with our children.

Every day, we get new reminders of how political rancor and bad policy hamper this nation’s youngest generation. Our little ones suffer in the lunchroom when politicians slash school meal programs. Millions cared for under the Affordable Care Act live with the looming threat of the law being overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer. College-age children are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. They face an anemic job market where a college degree that costs too much will often culminate in a job that pays too little to stay afloat… READ THE FULL STORY HERE!


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