It was a day of rest and recreation, family and picnics. But do union actions, however well-intentioned, always result in the best outcomes for workers and help grow the economy?
So before we pat ourselves on the back for how far we’ve come since 1872, it might be wise to remember that while many of us enjoy what union members walked the picket lines for and lost their jobs for – including this long weekend – there are still lots of workers who are struggling just to make a living and a life for their families. The first Labor Day in the Americas was a spontaneous event.
In Toronto in 1872, printers threatened to strike after years of lobbying for shorter workweeks.
The labour union’s leaders were arrested and charged. The Harper government in Ottawa has forgotten that working people keep our economy moving, opening the doors each morning for businesses both big and small, building our needed infrastructure and delivering vital services across every inch of this country.
Administrative reforms initiated by our U.S. Department of Labor will raise the wages and improve the lives of millions of hard working people across the United States and in Pennsylvania. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. Twenty-nine states followed.
1894 – President Grover Cleveland and the U.S. Congress make it a national holiday.
Who was the founder of Labor Day?
Retail workers should never be forbidden from discussing the job in off-hours or on social media.
The most productive workers are those who organize their time and efforts to maximize their productivity. But working people are not sharing in the wealth. Not only are we witnessing a devaluation of workers, but a hardcore cadre of pundits and politicians scapegoat collective bargaining rights for educators, police, firefighters and other public employees. And deep income inequality is bad for growth. The difference in income between the top 1 percent of our population and, well, everybody else, is widening to a gaping gulf.
We also need to join other wealthy counties by guaranteeing that all families have paid medical and family leave and paid sick time and vacation time. We need a corporate ethos inspired by the likes of the Container Store’s CEO Kip Tindell. According to a recent Gallup poll, almost 80 percent of your fellow Americans agree: no worker should be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment. The Waltons don’t like labor unions.
In 2015, Wal-Mart is giving some of its workers raises.
Wages for working people have stagnated for decades. Last month, the satirical publication The Onion ran an all-too-true fake article: “Encouraging Study Finds It’s Now Easier Than Ever for American Dollars to Rise Into Upper Class”. And if you don’t have those benefits on your job today, they are the people who can help you get them.
Most Nutley residents will celebrate Labor Day doing things not relating to work, unless you count grilling burgers or applying suntan lotion as work. Today’s workers deserve our support this weekend and throughout the year.
While we have many economic obstacles to contend with, I am convinced by the optimism, spirit, and skills of Washington’s workers that we can rebuild our communities and we can rebuild the American Dream for all workers, if we share in the prosperity that workers create.
Commercialists have transformed Labor Day into a reason for shopping.