Dolores Huerta on Why Unions Matter

According to labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, unions matter much more than most of us think.

“I think young people are skeptical of unions because they don’t know what unions are,” she explained. “The reason that young people don’t understand about labor is because we don’t teach labor studies in our schools. Young people don’t know how did we get the eight-hour day? How did we get the weekends? How did we get unemployment insurance? Disability insurance? How did we get public education? Social Security? Safety standards? These are the benefits that working people have, that were fought for by labor unions and people who died to get these benefits.”

Huerta is a lifelong activist for workers’ civil rights. Alongside Cesar Chavez, she helped organize the 1965 Delano grape strike, which brought national attention to the plight of farm workers. Through her life, she has remained a strong critic of inequality.

“Working people are the majority of the people in our United States of America,” she said. “Labor unions are the ones that really create the middle class. If we eliminate the middle class, then we don’t have a real democracy, because the majority of people in the United States are workers. 


Our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the city expires June 30, 2020.  Membership surveys for contract proposal & changes will be distributed starting late this month and during the month of April.  Once you have filled out a survey, it will be your responsibility to return it to your Shop Steward, Executive Board Member, any of Executive Officers below or, Bring them to the April or May General Membership Meeting.  For the Worcester Public Library, I will be distributing your surveys until that changes.
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Sean Maher
National Vice President
President, Executive Officer, LOCAL 495
The National Association of Government Workers, N.A.G.E.