Why Millennials And Gen Z Should Support Organized Labor

Labor Unions Are Integral To Our Country, And They Need Our Help

Organized labor has been a staple of this country for generations, and its' decline is forever associated with various declines in our standard of living.

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USW, UAW, Teamsters, AFSCME. Those may just sound like odd names to many, but to me and many American workers, they are the myriad labor unions that have been integral to our country and its' blue-collar population. They have helped in many ways to defend workers, give them good benefits plans, and to protect their salary and ability to work from corporations.

Now? They have been in decline for decades, and sit at just 10.7% of all workers according to U.S. government estimates. This is a remarkably low number for the United States' workforce and is also another sad part of the economic stagnation of the U.S. since union membership began to collapse.

It might seem a bit odd to believe that unions and income inequality would be linked: you would expect that, maybe as a gesture of goodwill, corporation executives might offer better benefits to retain talent.

This could not be further from the truth. Studies have indicated that unions have a positive effect from members to nonmembers.

In a study conducted measuring average household income from 1973-2015, researchers found that there was a robust correlation between income inequality and union decline. In fact, the study found that the wages of nonunion workers would have been 3-7% higher if union membership rates were noticeably higher.

This dramatic increase in income inequality can be attributed to multiple factors: increasing automation, workers being reduced to performing increasingly less-intricate tasks, outsourcing, college-degree preference and so on. However, as time has gone on and research has been conducted, unions have been shown to benefit society and counter income inequality via actions such as fighting for broader access to healthcare, which has been a key facet of income inequality.

Though unions are far weaker now than they have been historically, we have still seen their power: In Los Angeles, unions were able to help negotiate better pay and funding for school teachers. In West Virginia, unions were center-stage as the many teachers who wanted more money were granted by the governor.

As one can see, unions still have a part to play in our country and its' economy.

Unions remain integral to how we function. Without unions, many of the benefits, payment plans, and healthcare options would not exist. And that is why I am partial to unions: unions allowed for socioeconomic ascendancy, a better life for families, and a chance to live a good life despite not having the luxury of a college degree.

In a time where the world is saturated with degrees and not enough trade school workers, unions might just become essential yet again. I, for one, would welcome that. As a kid from Ohio, union workers are prevalent, and protecting them now and later is integral.

Support your local to rebuild the American dream.

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16 Reasons Nurses Have Been And Will Continue To Be The Most Trusted Profession

Because there is more to nurses than bed baths and medications

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For the past 17 consecutive years, nurses have been the most trusted profession in America. How do we know? Gallup does a poll every year to Americans rating different professions on honesty and ethical standards.

Nurses were number one as 84% of Americans rated nurses as high or very high when it comes to honesty and ethical standards. This isn't anything new, either. Gallup says that "With the exception of one year, 2001, when firefighters were on the list after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, nurses have far outpaced all other professions since they were added to the list two decades ago."

So, what made them chose nurses as the most honest and ethical?

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1. They hold the hands of your loved ones

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Nurses work 12-hour shifts. They are with your loved one more than anyone else in the hospital. Every family member cannot be with them 24/7, nor is it healthy to be. They encourage caregivers and family members to go home; take a shower, eat a meal, and sleep.

You cannot be there for them if you aren't there and healthy. That is where nurses come in. They'll take the hand for a while. Whether they are just going through a rough patch or taking their last breath, they will be there for comfort, support, and guidance.

2. They teach and help you understand

Education is a huge part of their jobs. They teach a diabetic how to take insulin. They teach the liver failure patient on what their lab values mean. They teach the importance of your diagnosis. They teach about medications. Nurses teach A LOT.

They should probably have a dual degree in education. They also help you understand things you did not understand. Physicians, for example, may not explain things in terms you understand. Nurses can help clarify and make sure you are comfortable and informed about what is happening.

3. They help you feel human again

Jill Krause

It is helping you in the shower after a long night. It is giving a bed bath when you just cannot move. It is helping you go to the bathroom after just giving birth. It is offering you a toothbrush. It is talking to you like a human being and not talking down on you.

Nurses and nursing assistants are responsible for making sure you are as comfortable as you possibly can be. Hospitals are not fun and if you are there, it is possible you are not your best self. That is where they come in.

4. They provide open and honest communication

Nurses almost always ask open-ended questions. Why? How much information can you get from "yes" or "no"? Nurses are the people who communicate with you on a different level. They are honest, show empathy, and want to help. They open the room up for whatever you want to discuss. It is one of their many positions.

5. They help bring life into the world

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Imagine celebrating life every single day. This is the reality for many Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, NICU, and well-baby nursery nurses. You are not alone. The nurses are the one increasing your pain medications when needed or helping you get through and respect your natural birth plan.

They encourage you every step of childbirth. They'll let you squeeze their hands, put a cold rag on your head, and place your baby on your chest after it's all over. Nurses are the ones who care for you and your whole family.

6. They are EVERYWHERE

Hospitals, schools, community, clinics, group homes, rehabilitation centers, outpatient centers, offices and your primary office, home health care, pharmacies, senior living centers, and so much more.

Nurses are not just trusted in hospitals. They are everywhere.

7. They advocate for you

Nurses give you a voice. The patient always comes first in their eyes. When they feel something is wrong, they WILL advocate for you. They are the people you want on your team.

They help you make informed decisions and translate things you may not understand. They will make sure you have all the tools you need, they ensure your safety, they educate you, and they connect you to resources you may need.

In fact, they are your biggest cheerleaders! They want you to get better and be your best possible self. Many times, nurses develop relationships with patients who have around for a while. Relationships are professional, yet they also become your biggest fans.

8. They are empathetic 

Nurses are special. They find out early on in nursing school whether they have the skills to be a nurse. The one's that make it are usually the empathic ones. They are able to put themselves your shoes, which is a huge reason why nurses give the care they do.

9. They help you cope, patient or not

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Nurses always have "two" patients: the actual patient and the family. It comes with the job! They do not just educate the patient; they educate the family, too. They also help you cope. Losing a loved one is never easy.

Although you may not be their patient, they'll still hold your hand, guide you, support you, and give you the resources you need to get through tough times.

10. They see you at your worst 

This is a positive thing. When you're at your worst, you need the most help. Nurses are always the first on the scene to care for you in all aspects; big or small.

11. They are active outside of their workplace

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Nurses (and nursing students) do a lot of community work. They see the bigger picture of why a patient may not take their medications or why they might not understand something. They are always out trying to help the community with screenings and education.

12. They practice and heal holistically 

Nurses practice holistically, meaning the focus on healing the whole person. According to American Nursing Today, it takes a "mind-body-spirit-emotion-environment" approach to the practice of traditional nursing. Holistic nursing is based on a philosophy of living and being that is grounded in caring, relationship, and interconnectedness.

A holistic nurse recognizes and integrates the principles and modalities of holistic healing into daily life and clinical practice. Holistic nursing encourages nurses to integrate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in their lives."

Yes, they take into consideration everything, not just the physical body.

13. They don't judge

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Okay honestly, they’ve seen it all.

14. They are always learning and bettering themselves

Temple University Hospital learning they achieved Magnet status

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First, nursing school is DIFFICULT. Students have 12-hour clinicals, countless care guides, and a heavy course load. It is one most difficult majors. Yet, their pain is your gain! You want your nurse to be the best.

They hold your life in their hands! Along with making it through school, they are always learning on the unit, keeping up to date on evidence-based research, complete CE's (continuing education), and have countless certifications.

15. They listen

They don't listen to answer, they listen to listen. They'll listen to your worries, your stories, and anything you want to share. They have your back.

16. They encourage bonding and support

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Studies have shown that visitors and having support have an impact on patient outcomes! This included rapid recovery, boosting moral, and reduce anxiety and delirium. It also helps if you are there. You'll be better equipped to care for your loved one.

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What I've Learned From Working At Subway

Getting a job is life changing and can help you in ways you didn't even know

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Okay, everyone has a job, right? Do you remember your first job? How did that job impact you? Did you befriend coworkers? Do you still talk to them and hang out? Did you tell them everything about you? Ask them for advice? Vent to them about something?

Most people get their first job at around 18 years old when they're in high school. During that time I was playing soccer and we either had a game or practice every day after school. Going in for the interview I was beyond nervous, I didn't really know what to expect. When it came time for my first day I was beyond nervous once again. I wasn't sure how I was going to do or what to expect from the other workers. However, I will say that I feel like it has helped me a lot.

At first, I was kind of shy, which is how I always am when I am in a new place with people I don't know. I wasn't sure if I was going to like my coworkers or if they were going to like me. It did take a while for me to open up completely.

After a while, we all got to know each other and I feel like we became friends. For me, they became my second family, okay third family. Granted we all didn't get along at first, but we did kind of have to get along because we are so small. We all see each other every day, even if we don't work with each other that day.

Thanks to getting a job at Subway, I've had to learn how to work with making sandwiches yes, but also how to interact with the customers. And by that I mean, we get a lot of different kinds of customers and we have to know how to deal with them accordingly. I have had people get mad at me for the prices changing, discontinued sandwiches, discontinued bread, coupons, and more.

I have been able to handle customers without getting upset about what they're complaining about. Which has allowed me to get a better understanding of what people who work fast food and customer service goes through. It has shown me to have patience when it comes to waiting in a long line for food. The workers are trying their best to get to you.

I've gotten more confident in my work and in my personal life as well.

My coworkers have helped me a lot in my life. I didn't drive when I first started driving, but I was starting to think about getting it and they encouraged me to go for it. They also helped me when I was scared and nervous about actually doing for the test itself. They also helped me ask my boyfriend out, they were there when I was confused about it all and told me that I should just go for it and not be scared about the outcome.

I was also able to buy a car as well as go to concerts. One of my coworkers is always getting tickets and inviting me to tag along, it's a lot of fun being able to go with her. We are always laughing and talking with each other, yes we have had days where we don't talk to each other but we end up making up at the end of the night or during out next shift together.

Working at Subway has helped me in ways I didn't know I needed help with. I've grown as a person since I started and I've made friends with my co-workers who also have helped me change.

It has allowed me to get the courage I needed to get my license and ask out the guy I like. My co-workers have become my friends that I talk to about everything and anything. If I'm frustrated an ok it something I vent to them. Being able to vent to my coworkers or just talk about something to either ask for advice or just to get it out is always helpful.

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