The State Of Massachusetts' Middle Class

The State Of Massachusetts' Middle Class

September 29, 2011
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Massachusetts’ strong and vibrant middle class didn’t just happen. It was built brick by brick by the hard work of our parents and grandparents and the strength in numbers that came from the unions that represented them. From the first child labor law in the nation (1843) and the trade unions of the famous Lowell mills, to landmark workers’ compensation legislation(1911) and the celebrated Bread and Roses Strike of 1912, to a 2005 union-supported push for one of the highest minimum wages in the country, Massachusetts’ unions made sure that as our nation's wealth and productivity grew, so too did the economic prosperity, security, and resiliency of the people who worked hard to create that wealth. For decades, the unions of Bay State workers guaranteed that prosperity was widely shared and that communities flourished—wages increased and more employers provided their workers with health insurance, pensions, and paid time off.