When it was created in 1894 Labor Day was important. It seems to have lost any significance now. We labor in air conditioned boxes and have lots of perks. I am watching my neighbor leave for her shift at Walmart. She gets good benefits and a living wage. The last complaint of the workers to Walmart for unfair pay to women ended up in the Supreme Court and was denied basically because there were too many women. Everything is so super sized lately.
I have worked for non profits most of my life and even tho the pay is low the satisfaction of helping people is high. We have come a long way from locking mentally ill people up in attics. Our government tries to keep us all civilized and cared for. My jobs have always been legitimate and healthy.
I can't imagine what working in a sweatshop was like, child labor and sexual discrimination. Labor Unions reached their peak in the 1950's and they used their power to give workers some dignity. I know there have been abuses of that power and they have given themselves such good perks and pensions that they are breaking the budget.
That seems to be the cycle of life where something that is needed grows too big and gets greedy. My friend says Unions made his father's shop close because of all the restrictions and regulations. Another friend said Unions made his Crystal factory close because he couldn't afford the high cost of health care for everyone. I can see the government regulations strangling even my little non profit Center. How many ways can we protect workers?
I celebrate the idea of Labor Day today but I am concerned for the future. Big Corporations need to be accountable for how they treat their workers and I think they have learned that happy workers mean a better business. Our mazes of cubicles house a population of worker mice who can support families and give us a good life. When will the unions of the future need to revolt and demand better conditions? Will we all just move into this new age of air conditioned work environments and live happily ever after?
Thank you today for the unions who dared to go against the big overlords and make us a nation that values laborers. What will the future hold? How much larger can we get? Supersized into inaction.