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Fifty-five years ago, in a speech to the convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out with characteristic moral clarity the essential role of unions in American life. “The labor movement,” he explained, “was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress … [When] the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society. Civilization began to grow in the economic life of man, and a decent life with a sense of security and dignity became a reality rather than a distant dream.”

This Labor Day, America’s working families are facing unprecedented challenges.

Support for union members running for elected office is a top priority for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and our affiliates. We know that when our members run on a platform of working people’s values and receive unified support from the labor movement, we will win.

With political support from Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and several Virginia state lawmakers, airline food preparation workers took their nationwide struggle against their bosses public with a July 23 protest that drew almost 1,000 people and virtually filled the old main hall at Washington National Airport.

No advocates for workers’ rights or labor were especially surprised last week when President Trump nominated Eugene Scalia for secretary of Labor, succeeding the utterly discredited Alex Acosta.

Scalia—son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia—had made his reputation in Washington as a lawyer for big corporations resisting labor regulations, after all.

When you order food through an app and tip the worker who delivers it, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the money you give goes directly to that person. But in reality, some delivery apps use your tip to make up the worker’s base pay — essentially stealing the money you’re trying to give someone to maximize their profits.

Donald Trump ran for president on the idea that he would help struggling Americans, the "forgotten man" as he referred to these implicitly white workers, rise up after years of neglect from a shifty labor market and stagnant wages.