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The Boston Globe


farah stockman

Change in the win

In 1929, they gave us the weekend. Nine years later, they got us minimum wage. In 1942, they scored employer-sponsored health insurance. In 1963, they helped organize the march where Martin Luther King told us about his dream.

Labor unions — whether you belong to one or not — have improved our lives in more ways than we realize. But they are fading. Just 12 percent of America’s workforce belongs to a union, down from 35 percent in the 1950s. Support for unions is fading, too. The number of Americans who view them favorably has plunged, from 75 percent in 1957 to 48 percent in 2009, according to Gallup.

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