Wednesday Wisdom: Louis Brandeis On The Need For Strong Labor Unions

“Strong, responsible unions are essential to industrial fair play.  Without them the labor bargain is wholly one-sided.  The parties to the labor contract must be nearly equal in strength if justice is to be worked out, and this means that the workers must be organized and that their organizations must be recognized by employers as a condition precedent to industrial peace.”

—Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1934

Wednesday Wisdom: Albert Einstein on Academic Freedom

By academic freedom I understand the right to search for truth and to publish and teach what one holds to be true. This right implies also duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true. It is evident that any restriction on academic freedom acts in such a way as to hamper the dissemination of knowledge among the people and thereby impedes rational judgment and action.

AAUP Member Albert Einstein, 1954


The Supreme Court on Academic Freedom

“Our Nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom, which is of transcendent value to all of us, and not merely to the teachers concerned. That freedom is therefore a special concern of the First Amendment, which does not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom.”

Keyishian v. Board of Regents, 385 U.S. 589 (1967)


Wednesday Wisdom: Labor Day

“The use of national holidays is to emphasize some great event or principle in the minds of the people by giving them a day of rest and recreation, a day of enjoyment, in commemoration of it … (t)here can be no substantial objection to making one day in the year a national holiday for the benefit of labor.”

– U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Labor Report:  Labor Day a Legal Holiday, 1894. 

Wednesday Wisdom: Martin Luther King Jr. on the Vital Importance of Union Recognition

[U]nion recognition meant the real beginning. Union meant strength, and recognition meant the employer’s acknowledgment of that strength, and the two meant the opportunity to fight again for further gains with united and multiplied power. As contract followed contract, the pay envelope fattened and fringe benefits and job rights grew to the mature work standards of today. All of these started with winning first union recognition.

Speech given to the shop stewards of Local 815, Teamsters, and the Allied Trades Council, New York City, May 2, 1967