Laboring on Labor Day

Posted on September 3, 2012


English: Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New Y...

English: Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New York, 1882 (Lithographie) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of this Labor Day weekend, I have been laboring to move to a new house, but it was my choice to do this.   I could have spent my weekend relaxing on a beach.

We often forget how life would be like without the courageous and dedicated people who made Labor Day possible.

A very good friend of mine, the founder of a green manufacturer in Chicago Marvin Klein, writes a newsletter he calls the Political Update from time to time.  I’ve been trying to convince him that he needs to blog because he is so insightful about the politics of our day in a non-partisan way.

I want to share with you Marvin’s article for today, because he articulates  so well why unions have been important to our country, and perhaps still are today!

Time to Google Labor Day and Remember

by Marvin Klein

To most Americans Labor Day is the last vacation day of summer and a time to get ready for school and winter.   But for over a hundred years, Labor Day has been  the day to remember all the sacrifices that millions of workers and their families went through to establish unions and get the wages and work rules that we all now consider normal.  

Most workers expect Holidays with pay, expect to work only an 8 hour day with breaks to go to the washroom, expect to get paid vacations, and expect to have safety regulations prevent them from getting injured and if they are injured on the job expect to get paid while they recuperate.  Well we could go on and on but you get the idea and we all know about the terrible working conditions in China that doesn’t have Unions.     

The middle class in our country owes a big debt of gratitude to Unions, as without them there simply would not be a middle class.   Instead they would have the life their families had before unions …you know 14 hour days, 6 days a week for starvation wages.

However the minute Labor Day is over all you are going to hear is how Unions are destroying our nation’s economy.  It is a very popular theme for our current politicians…who constantly vote themselves better working condition and more benefits.

Today, the Unions are fighting for their survival.  The Teachers Union in Chicago is a case in point.  They are losing their jobs, not getting raises while being required to work more hours and may see their pensions collapse before they ever get to retirement age.   But this is going on all over the country and many politicians have found that attacking unions is the best way to get elected.

It is easy to kick other people when things are not going well….but make sure you are not just kicking yourself into decades of hardships.

Anyway, hope everyone had a nice day at the beach.

Daily Contemplation:

What do you think, is Marvin right?

Are you thankful for all the freedoms that unions have secured on your behalf?

Posted in: Artful Living