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Happy Labor Day! Here are 10 pro-union songs

Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie

In his 2008 memoir Touch and Go, invaluable author/broadcaster/agitator Studs Terkel encounters a yuppie couple at his bus stop. Never shy, Studs makes mention of Labor Day. "We despise unions" responds the sharp-dressed young man with a Wall Street Journal tucked beneath his arm. Studs, in fiery Studs fashion, responded thusly: 

“How come you don't work 14 hours a day? Your great-great-grandparents did. How come you only work the eight-hour day? Four guys got hanged fighting for the eight-hour day for you.”

Labor Day weekend is prime time for drunk-scarfing hotdogs, sure. But come Monday, let this playlist — which, admittedly, takes tons of creative license regarding the term "pro-union" — be a rockin' reminder of why we even have weekends. 

Billy Bragg — "Power In a Union" (Joe Hill cover)

Gil Scott-Heron — "Three Miles Down"

Pete Seeger — "Solidarity Forever" (Ralph Chaplin cover)

The Replacements — "God Damn Job" (OK, an excuse to include the 'Mats)

Woody Guthrie — "Union Burying Ground"

Florence Reece — "Which Side Are You On?"

Dolly Parton — "9 to 5"

The Clash — "Career Opportunities"

Judy Collins — "Bread and Roses" (Rose Schneiderman poem)

Bruce Springsteen — "Factory" 

Update #1: Make it 11! Here's John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" 

Update #2: OK, OK, we'll stop. But No. 12 has gotta be Tom Morello's "Union Town."