In Detroit, workers and politicians agree: America has ALWAYS needed unions

Michigan politicians praised unions at a standing-room only Town Hall in Detroit earlier this week, calling for a renewed appreciation of the positive impact union-led reforms have had on the American workforce.

Workers spoke about enduring mistreatment at the hands of the companies they’d given years of blood, sweat, and tears. Others shared inspiring stories of the stability and hope a good, union job provides to them and their families.

Watch highlights from the town hall now:


One fast-food worker, blindsided after losing her job post-childbirth, shared her dismay about her employer’s unfair parental leave policies.

“We’re fighting for $15 but also union rights, because we don’t have any job security. I worked my first fast-food job until I was 9 months pregnant. Shortly after childbirth, I called to see if I could get back on the schedule and they told me that my spot was taken.”


Another worker detailed the stark contrast between her former life struggling to balance two jobs just to survive, and her new union job with healthcare and generous paid leave benefits.

“I worked at Burger King for four years and I gave them my sweat and my tears. I had to find another non-union job, so I was working two jobs just to survive for my one baby. As a union janitor, I get paid sick days, paid time off, annual raises, and healthcare.”


Elected officials vowed to stand with workers, emphasizing the positive impact of unions on the American workforce throughout history.

“There’s no substitute to organizing. Michigan needs unions. What we have to do is convince people that they need unions.” — U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin

“We have embraced this right-to-work concept that allows corporations to make all the wealth and profits by not paying a living wage. Our unions have been the ones to show up and embrace all the workers.” — U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence

“Why do we need a union? I’m gonna tell you. Too many people don’t talk about how unions have benefited everybody. It’s time to start reminding working men and women what unions have done for them.” — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell