“Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.” – President John F. Kennedy
Americans owe much of our job security, safety, work schedules, and more to labor unions. We wouldn’t be where we are without the safety and security unions provide to the working families in America.
Dana Ferguson was a member of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA Local 1329) and the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Millwrights (Carpenters local 1510).
He says he wouldn’t be running for Congress in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District without being in a strong labor union here. Coming out of high school, he started a family at a young age, and chose to stay here to go to Northern Michigan University, raising a family on the salary of a laborer.
Without the laborers union, Dana wouldn’t have been able to do that. When he chose to go back to school again to get his masters degree, again, it was organized labor that saved him. He was able to once again be part of a labor union, this time the Carpenters local 1510.
Dana's support for unions goes well beyond his own personal benefit. It goes back a hundred years, to the copper mine strikes of the early 1900s. When striking miners and their families barely survived in the Copper Country here in Michigan’s 1st District, as legend says, a Mine Company henchmen yelled “Fire” in the midst of a crowded theater at the Italian Hall on Christmas Eve, 1913.
Seventy-three men, women, and children were crushed to death as people fled to escape a non-existent fire. This is one of the first documented cases where labor unions changed the course of safety forever, where doors must now open outward, instead of inward.
Today, we owe the 40-hour workweek, health benefits, vacation and sick time, job security and so much more to the bargaining power of unions. Even our non-union workers enjoy many of these same benefits, just because the workers who came before them bargained collectively for the benefits that we all love and cherish.
That’s why Dana is such a strong supporter of the PRO-Act, which would strengthen the right to collectively bargain and form unions here in the United States of America, something we strongly need on the national scale after so many irresponsible legislatures across this country have slashed unions and their power.
Dana Ferguson will always be a strong supporter of our unions, of your rights to collectively bargain, to form unions and to ensure that our children and grandchildren have the rights Dana had. He will always support the men and women who have come before him, who, in some cases gave their lives for the rights to collectively bargain and to form unions [some in the face of grave danger]. His admiration for those men and women who sacrificed so much for all of us runs deep.
Dana is committed to opposing any legislation that will weaken unions and will stand in support of prevailing wage laws and community benefit agreements and ordinances. He will continue the fight against the so-called “Right to Work” legislation, of which he just shredded their questionnaire.