Today the American worker enjoys numerous rights and benefits as normative. These were not kindly given by employers, etc. Working through the political process, unions have acted to make normative a number of remarkable rights and benefits.
Unions have worked to bring about an end to child labor, to establish the right of workers to form unions and bargain collectively. Unions have worked to established the 8 hour day and paid overtime as well as workman's compensation benefits for injuries sustained on the job.
Unions have worked to establish unemployment insurance and a guaranteed minimum wage. Unions have worked to improve on the job safety. Unions have worked to bring about pensions and health care insurance for workers as well as sick leave, vacations, holidays, etc. as standard norms.
Unions worked for the right of public employes to bargain collectively. Unions were very much a part of the efforts that brought about the passage of the Civil Rights Acts and Title VII, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Family Medical Leave Act.