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Workers and Unions Quotes


Top 30 Workers and Unions Quotes


No 1 (Best quote!)Workers and Unions Quotes

Conflict is inevitable and in this conflict power must be challenged by power,

- Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1901) American theologian, pictured right.



No 2Workers and Unions Quotes

Workers of the world, unite!

- Karl Marx, pictured right, and Friedrich Engels, pictured right below, The Communist Manifesto (1848)

 Workers and Unions Quotes

Marx and Engels add:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,


Workers and Unions Quotes

The Russian communist leader, Lenin  (1870-1924), pictured right, also comments:

In its struggle for power the proletariat [i.e. the workers] has no other weapon but organization. 



No 3Workers and Unions Quotes

The most conservative man in this world is the British Trade Unionist when you want to change him,

- Ernest Bevin (1881–1951), British Labour politician and trade unionist, pictured right.



No 4Workers and Unions Quotes

Industrial relations are like sexual relations. It's better between two consenting parties.

Vic Feather (1908-76), British trade union leader, pictured right.  



No 5Workers and Unions Quotes

Let those who feast at ease on dainty fare,

Pity the reapers, who their feasts prepare.

(from the 1730 poem The Thresher's Labour (1730)

- Stephen Duck (c1705-1756), pictured right above, English poet.



No 6Workers and Unions Quotes

What is a communist? One who hath yearnings

For equal division of unequal earnings.

(from the 1850 poem Epigram)

- Ebenezer Elliott (1789-1849), pictured right, English poet.



No 7Workers and Unions Quotes

All classes of society are trades unionists at heart, and differ chiefly in the boldness, ability, and secrecy with which they pursue their respective interests.

- W. Stanley Jevons (1835–82), English economist, pictured right.



No 8Workers and Unions Quotes

These unhappy times call for the building of plans that…build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), American president, pictured right.



No 9Workers and Unions Quotes

The masters against him on one hand, the men against him on the other, he only wantin to work hard in peace, and do what he felt right. Can a man have no soul of his own, no mind of his own?,

(Rachael in Hard Times)

- Charles Dickens (1812-70), English writer, pictured right.  



No 10Workers and Unions Quotes

I’ll give ye all the work of my hands ... but my soul I won’t give up,

Tom (to Legree, on refusing to beat another slave) in the 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

- Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-96), pictured right, American writer.


No 11Workers and Unions Quotes

The lowest stage of humanity is explained when the individual must labour for a small pittance of wages from others.

- Robert Owen (1771-1858), Welsh factory owner, pictured right.



No 12Workers and Unions Quotes

If you don’t like your job, you don’t strike. You go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.

- Homer Simpson, pictured right,. in the American TV series, The Simpsons.



No 13Workers and Unions Quotes

The mass of humanity is subjected to the labour process for the purposes of those who control it rather than for any general purposes of “humanity” as such.

- Harry Braverman, pictured right, Labour and Monopoly Capitalism (1974)



No 14Workers and Unions Quotes

Trade unions have always had two faces, sword of justice and vested interest.

- Allan Flanders, pictured right, Management and Unions (1970).



No 15Workers and Unions Quotes

Employees don’t vote for a union, they vote against management.

- Ken Matejka, pictured right., in Why This Horse Won’t Drink (1991)



No 16Workers and Unions Quotes

The effects of unions depend very much on what management does,

- Jeffrey Pfeffer, pictured right, in Competitive Advantage Through People (1994)


Workers and Unions Quotes

John Harvey-Jones (1924-2008), pictured right, boss of the British chemical company ICI 1982-7, agrees:

When you know something’s wrong, nine times out of ten it’s the management – in truth because people aren’t being led right,



No 17Workers and Unions Quotes

We aim to be part of the answer, not part of the problem.

- John Monks (1945- ), British 1990’s union boss, pictured right.



No 18Workers and Unions Quotes

I think union rules are a little strict. I used to sing in the bath tub at home, now I’ve got to have another guy in there with me as a stand-by.

- Bob Hope (1903-2003), American comedian, pictured right.



No 19Workers and Unions Quotes

No business which depends for its existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), American president, pictured right.


Workers and Unions Quotes


No 20

When labour unions get higher wages for their members by restricting entry into an occupation, those higher wages are at the expense of other workers who find their opportunities reduced.Workers and Unions Quotes

Milton and Rose Friedman, pictured right, Free To Choose (1980).




No 21Workers and Unions Quotes

Our employers can no more afford to be absolute masters of their employees than they can submit to the mastery of their employees...The spirit must be 'Come, let us reason together',

- Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941), American lawyer and writer, pictured right.



No 22Workers and Unions Quotes

You only need unions when mangement are bastards.

- Anita Roddick (1942-2007), English founder of The Body Shop, pictured right.



No 23Workers and Unions Quotes

Capital is dead labour which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour.

- Karl Marx (1818-83), German philosopher, pictured right



No 24Workers and Unions Quotes

Fight for the welfare of the public at large.

- Walter Reuther (1907-70), American union leader, pictured right


Workers and Unions Quotes

Harold Laski (1893-1950), the English political writer and professor, pictured right, agrees:

The meek do not inherit the earth unless they are prepared to fight for their meekness.



No 25Workers and Unions Quotes

Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others.

(Old Major in the 1945 novel Animal Farm)

- George Orwell (1903-50) , pictured right, English writer  



No 26Workers and Unions Quotes

Have your union. You need it. Alone you are weak. Together you are strong. But remember, with strength goes responsibility - to others and to yourselves.

- Mr. Gruffydd  (Walter Pidgeon, pictured right, in the 1942 film How Green Was My Valley)



No 27Workers and Unions Quotes

Capital and labour must fight or unite.

- Mary Parker Follett, pictured right, Dynamic Administration (1941)



No 28Workers and Unions Quotes

A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight.

- Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish writer and philosopher (pictured right).



No 29Workers and Unions Quotes

We raise the watch-word liberty. We will, we will, we will be free!,

- George Loveless (1797-1874), one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs after being convicted of joining a union (pictured right).



No 30Workers and Unions Quotes

There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak.

- Walter Reuther (1907-70), American union leader, pictured right.


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