Samuel Gompers quotes

  • Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Rights #Organization #People

  • The trade union movement represents the organized economic power of the workers... It is in reality the most potent and the most direct social insurance the workers can establish.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Reality #Movement #Unions

  • To be free, the workers must have choice. To have choice they must retain in their own hands the right to determine under what conditions they will work.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Hands #Choices #Workers

  • Time is the most valuable thing on earth: time to think, time to act, time to extend our fraternal relations, time to become better men, time to become better women, time to become better and more independent citizens.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Independent #Men #Thinking

  • The man who has his millions will want everything he can lay his hands on and then raise his voice against the poor devil who wants ten cents more a day.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Men #Hands #Voice

  • Our movement is of the working people, for the working people, by the working people. . . . There is not a right too long denied to which we do not aspire in order to achieve; there is not a wrong too long endured that we are not determined to abolish.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Struggle #Order #Long

  • You can't weigh the soul of a man with a bar of pig-iron.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Men #Iron #Pigs

  • We will stand by our friends and administer a stinging rebuke to men or parties who are either indifferent, negligent, or hostile, and, wherever opportunity affords, to secure the election of intelligent, honest, earnest trade unionists, with clear, unblemished, paid-up union cards in their possession.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Party #Intelligent #Opportunity

  • All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Dayis devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Holiday #Men #Race

  • Show me the country that has no strikes and I'll show you the country in which there is no liberty.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Country #Liberty #Strikes

  • Doing for people what they can and ought to do for themselves is a dangerous experiment.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #People #Dangerous #Experiments

  • It is impossible for capitalists and laborers to have common interests.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Struggle #Impossible #Common

  • Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Men #Race #Labor Day

  • The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Business #Failure #People

  • What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful, and childhood more happy and bright.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Beautiful #Revenge #Book

  • [The labor movement is] a movement of the working people, for the working people, by the working people, governed by ourselves, with its policies determined by ourselves...
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #People #Movement #Determined

  • The freedom of speech and the freedom of the press have not been granted to the people in order that they may say things which please, and which are based upon accepted thought, but the right to say the things which displease, the right to say the things which convey the new and yet unexpected thoughts, the right to say things, even though they do a wrong.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Order #People #Freedom Of Speech

  • The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Commodity #Articles #Commerce

  • Why should the wealth of the country be stored in banks and elevators while the idle workman wanders homeless about the streets and the idle loafers who hoard the gold only to spend it on riotous living are rolling about in fine carriages from which they look out on peaceful meetings and call them riots?
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Country #Peaceful #Gold

  • No race of barbarians ever existed yet offered up children for money
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Children #Race #Barbarians

  • There may be here and there a worker who for certain reasons unexplainable to us does not join a union of labor. That is his right. It is his legal right, no matter how morally wrong he may be. It is his legal right, and no one can or dare question his exercise of that legal right.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Exercise #Unions #May

  • Do I believe in arbitration? I do. But not in arbitration between the lion and the lamb, in which the lamb is in the morning found inside the lion
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Morning #Believe #Lambs

  • Workingmen are at the foundation of society. Show me that product of human endeavor in the making of which the workingman has had no share, and I will show you something that society can well dispense with.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Foundation #Share #Endeavor

  • One fact stands out in bold relief in the history of man's attempts for betterment. That is that when compulsion is used, only resentment is aroused, and the end is not gained. Only through moral suasion and appeal to man's reason can a movement succeed.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Men #Excellence #Relief

  • You can't do it unless you organize.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Organize

  • There are such wonderful possibilities in the life of each man and woman! No human being is unimportant. My inspiration comes in opening opportunities that all alike may be free to live life to the fullest.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Inspiration #Live Life #Opportunity

  • So long as there is one [person] who seeks employment and cannot find it, the hours of work are too long.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Work #Long #Employment

  • Doing for people what they can and ought to do for themselves is a dangerous experiment. In the last analysis, the welfare of the workers depends upon their own initiative. Whatever is done under the guise of philanthropy or social morality which in any way lessens initiative is the greatest crime that can be committed against the toilers. Let social busybodies and professional "public morals experts" in their fads reflect upon the perils they rashly invite under this pretense of social welfare.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #People #Experts #Analysis

  • No lasting gain has ever come from compulsion.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Gains #Compulsion #Lasting

  • Our mission has been the protection of the wage-worker, now; to increase his wages; to cut hours off the long workday, which was killing him; to improve the safety and the sanitary conditions of the workshop; to free him from the tyrannies, petty or otherwise, which served to make his existence a slavery.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Cutting #Safety #Long

  • W.Z. Foster {head of the American Communist Party}, who had no money, went to Moscow and came back and announced that he was building a great secret machine to undermine the American labor movement and turn it over to the Red International, owned by Lenin. He began publication of an expensive magazine and proclaimed 'a thousand secret agents in a thousand communities.'
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Party #Community #Secret

  • In many instances the conduct of colored workmen, and those who have spoken for them, has not been in asking or demanding that equal rights be accorded to them as to white workmen, but somehow conveying the idea that they are to be petted and coddled and given special consideration and special privilege. Of course that can't be done.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Rights #Ideas #White

  • So long as we have held fast to voluntary principles and have been actuated and inspired by the spirit of service, we have sustained our forward progress, and we have made our labor movement something to be respected and accorded a place in the councils of the Republic. Where we have blundered into trying to force a policy or decision, even though wise and right, we have impeded if not interrupted the realization of our own aims.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Wise #Long #Decision

  • The periods of unemployment accompanying depression in the business cycle . . . present a challenge to all our claims to progress, humanity, and civilization.
    -- Samuel Gompers

    #Business #Civilization #Challenges