In Commemoration of Labor Day: Terri Gerstein Reflects on the Many Ways Unions Serve the Greater Good and Calls for New Laws Facilitating Membership

Terri Gerstein (‘95), Director of the State and Local Enforcement Project at the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program, contributed an opinion to NBC News praising the positive effects of unions that extend far beyond their members, benefiting the general public in surprising and unexpected ways. Discussing a wide range of collateral benefits, Terri noted improved nursing care, greater civic engagement and increased participation in the political process, advancements in education, and other fiscal and economic benefits that serve the broader community (“Labor Day Is a Time to Recognize All Unions Do — to Help Health Care, Education, Even Marriage,” Sep. 7). “Unions look out for their members, fighting for higher wages, better benefits and safer working conditions. They overwhelmingly deliver on those promises, including in the pandemic. . . . [O]n this Labor Day of 2020, remember the full picture of what unions do. They serve their members, yes, but they bring many other benefits, and they’re essential for a healthy, thriving democracy for all of us.”