Labor Quotes

While we are always willing to negotiate as equals, the era of union busting, contract trashing, and strike breaking is at an end. Today, we say that when you pick a fight with any of us, you pick a fight with all of us! And that when you push us, we will push back! ~ Richard Trumka (1995)

The power of a movement lies in the fact that it can indeed change the habits of people. This change is not the result of force but of dedication, of moral persuasion. ~ Steve Biko (1946-77)

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 (1894)

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will. ~ Frederick Douglas, 1857

I want you to pledge to yourselves in this convention to stand as one solid army against the foes of human labor. Think of the thousands who are killed every year and there is no redress for it. We will fight until the mines are made secure and human life valued more than props. Look things in the face. Don’t’ fear a governor; don’t fear anybody. You pay the governor; he has the right to protect you. You are the biggest part of the population in the state. You create its wealth, so I say, “let the fight go on; if nobody else will keep on, I will.” ~ Mother Jones (1913)

Anyone with a part-time job works full-time for half salary. ~ Denise D. Lynn

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