Monday, September 06, 2010

It’s Labor Day

On Labor Day we celebrate the social achievements of workers. Not how many cars they built, certainly not how many bushels of grapes they picked. But how many rights they have won through the Labor Movement.

Because of the Labor Movement we have the 8-hour day, the 40-hour work week. We have overtime. We have healthcare benefits through our employers. We have those things and so much more.

All of this because of that dreaded concept here in Texas: labor unions.

Texas, like other socially repressive states, is a “right to work” state. This is a euphemism for a “right to fire you” state. Because in Texas, like all “right to work” states, workers have fewer rights and no power to fight for them.

But here we are in Texas, on Labor Day with the flags flying (even the Teabaggers down the street have their flag out) and barbecues fired up. Because here in Texas, Labor Day has lost its original meaning everywhere but at the union picnics that are taking place today. In Texas, like most other parts of America, Labor Day has come to mean these things:

The end of summer (although Earth has not yet reached equinox)
The beginning of school (although it has been in session for 2 weeks now)
The day when sailors exchange their white uniform for their blue uniform.

I think that last one actually does take place.

Anyway, in honor of Labor Day and the state of the labor movement here in the United States, I give you the unique wit and talent of Stuart Carson.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for the union that I had to join many years ago to work at an auto parts manufacturer.

They priced us out of the market and eventually lead to moving our operation to another state where the work could be done much, much cheaper.

And as I look back and factor in union dues that I paid and pay lost during several lengthy strikes, I calculate that I made less than if I had been non-union.