The American dream is a middle class dream. However, the middle class is under siege and unions are vital to its survival.

Studies show if union representation were as high now as it was in the 1970s, a nonunion worker without a high school diploma would earn 9 percent more than they do currently. This attack on unions has dramatically increased with the growing inequality of wealth in this country — which is why those in the top 1 percent are the ones working hardest to destroy labor unions.

As a steward and local officer in SEIU 503, I’m proud that I participated in writing to and lobbying the Legislature, and attended rallies and town halls to promote important changes needed here in Oregon.

As Labor Day approaches, I’m recommitting myself to our union’s vision of a just and vibrant society. SEIU, as part of a coalition of labor unions and other civic-minded groups, has accomplished many important goals leading to better working conditions and a stronger economy. Working with the Fair Shot coalition, we won important victories for our economy and Oregon workers: sick leave for all, retirement savings for all, raised minimum wage, implemented some of the strongest anti-profiling laws in the nation, and got “ban the box” legislation passed.

I’m a proud union member because I know that my union activities benefit not only myself, but all workers. Oregon needs unions. America needs unions.

Deborah Carroll

Adair Village (Aug. 28)

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