Unions Rock

by Kate Childs Graham  |  February 23, 2012

Unions rock. That’s the consensus of Van Halen and Bruce Springsteen, who have both sung the praises of workers on their latest albums.

In Valen Halen’s hit single, “Tattoo,” David Lee Roth sings, “Uncle Danny had a coal tattoo, he fought for the union, some of us still do. On my shoulder is the number of the chapter he was in. That number is forever like the struggle here to win.”

In a recent interview, Roth calls today’s struggle for workers’ rights, “poignant.”

Bruce Springsteen’s “Shackled and Drawn” from his new album Wrecking Ball tells the plight of workers in a Guthrie-esque style only the Boss could replicate. He sings, “I always love the feel of sweat on my shirt. Stand back, son, and let a man work. Let a man work, is that so wrong. I woke up this morning shackled and drawn.”

Van Halen and Springsteen are just the latest singers to thank workers and labor unions in their work recently. Former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello (who joins The Boss on his new album), protested on behalf of workers in Wisconsin last February and his most recent album The Nightwatchman pays tribute to workers.

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