Samuel Gompers: Mission of the trade unions

September 5, 2006



To protect the workers in their inalienable rights to a higher and better life; to protect, not only as equals before the law, but also in their health, their homes, their firesides, their liberties as men, as workers, and as citizens; to overcome and conquer prejudices and antagonism; to secure to them the right to life, and the opportunity to maintain that life; the right to be full sharers in the abundance which is the result of their brain and brawn, and the civilization of which they are the founders and the mainstay. . . . The attainment of these is the glorious mission of the trade unions.

Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), speech in 1898


Image: Samuel Gompers on the cover of Time Magazine, October 1, 1923; drawing by Gordon Stevenson; Time Archive

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