At one time, a lot of people who weren’t in unions were nonetheless grateful to them because people understood that the unions had fought for everything they had attained, whether it was the eight-hour day or fire escapes on factory buildings. So I’m sad to see that development. At the same time, I think it’s duplicitous to resent generous pension or health benefits that public service workers have attained because a lot of these things were negotiated in good faith and a lot of people gave up short-term wages because they were promised generous benefits and retirement. So in a way, it’s sad to see this resentment.
— Public historian Philip Dray says shrinking union numbers have changed the way people perceive unions in America.