Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day 2009

Labor Day, a day which for most of us marks the unofficial end of summer, after picnicking or beaching it today one last time we put away our proverbial white shoes and bathing suits, and look forward to the fall and the new school year. We have forgotten that Labor Day was first started by the Labor Movement in the late 1800s to honor the workers --the first Labor Day celebrated was in NYC in 1882. Labor Day did not become a national holiday until 1894.
We should take a moment today to reflect on what the labor movement gave to us--the 40 hour work week, safe(r) working conditions, child labor laws, minimum wages.

Of course, in today's economic climate some people blame the labor movement for our economic woes. the high wages paid to the auto workers are often cited for the collapse of the American auto industry is instead of auto executives for having tin ears and lack of foresight to build energy efficient vehicles and being paid too much, even as their companies were failing.

So, on this Labor Day in the time of high unemployment, stagnating wages, foreclosures, let us give thanks to the labor movement for the benefits we all enjoy. If we have to put the blame for our economic condition anywhere, put it on those who were/are so greedy their only concern is with the bottom line, not humankind.

Read Robert Reich's article:


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