My first union card was with the Retail Clerks, now UFCW. I was inclined to being a union guy, a young smart-ass who never liked authority. My father came to organized labor later in life and became a bit of a hell-raiser who took over his union but I caught it virally even before he did. Most of my work cohort did not understand what the union EARNED for them. I also had the benefit of knowing an older guy who was deep into the movement and, like me, loved jazz. My compats complained about the union dues. I tried to explain the wage and safety benefits, a young punk talking to people older than me. Mostly the women got it, the guys not so often.
I spend most of my days in places in the US where union membership is in decline, and in developing countries where unions are crushed.
Happy Labor Day. Please remember to celebrate it on May 1, when the rest of the world does so, also.