To protect the workers in their inalienable rights to a higher and better life; to protect them, not only as equals before the law, but also in their health, their homes, workers, and as citizens; to overcome and conquer prejudices and antagonism; to secure to them the right to life, and the opportunity to maintain that life, the right to be full sharers in the abundance which is the result of their brain and brawn and the civilization of which they are the founders and the mainstay . . . . The attainment of these is the glorious mission of the trade unions.
- Samuel L. Gompers, 1898