Veterans for Peace Radio Hour

August 30, 2014

Labor Day

Filed under: General Discussion — bobfunke @ 2:26

 

Labor Day, so much I could say about this day in which we honor the workers of this nation, (notice there is “Management Day”).

From the coal mines, the sweatshops of Northern Massachusetts, the steel workers, the Longshoremen, the Teamsters and a thousand other places, workers struck, fought and died to gain a little dignity, a little safety, a little time off from the drudgery of near constant work. In Colorado, the NG was called in, fully armed to put down a coal miner’s strike. Many died that day, but the strikers held on, a nation was secretly inspired, (outright support for Unionization was generally met with mass firings, police attacks, Pinkerton’s and other hired goons smashed into peaceful meetings and peaceful supporters.

Great literature about men and women of the time was written, The Grapes of Wrath came not so much from the drought as it did from the labor troubles during the 1930’s. Passionate people driven to the brink of extinction while the wealthy sucked every penny they could from an already broken economy.

Some of the things Labor gave us:

An 8 hour work day

A 40 hour workweek

Overtime

Vacation time

Sick leave

Maternity leave

Child Labor Laws

 

 

A process to air our grievances against a company or its officers

Contracts that could be updated so as times changed, workers could gain as well

Safety regulations

Holiday pay/days off

I could add to this list, but we’ve allowed many of these things to slip away as well. Who would have thought that Nixon would have given the country the EPA? Today’s Republican party is trying desperately to strip it away, as well as OSHA and a host of other programs designed to keep workers and the nation safe, there is something very wrong with this picture.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend, you’ve earned it, but I’m willing to bet that on Friday, the first one’s out of the door were management.

 

Bob

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