Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day

Legless former coal miner

It's Labor Day. Enjoy, everyone.

Labor Day is one of those holidays that never seems to invite reflection on the meaning of why we have it. It is, for the United States, a strange holiday indeed. Honoring workers and unions is on the list of things to do right after dismantling the military-industrial complex and instituting a Free Puppies For All program. But take a little time to think about why we take the day off today; why the 40-hour week is standard; why we have weekends, vacations, somewhat decent wages, and other things that piss off the rich folks but make life enjoyable for the rest of us. Granted, we lag far behind the rest of the industrialized world in giving workers a fair shake, but labor movements gave us the amenities we do have (not, of course, without a lot of hard work, struggle, and bloodshed).

Every Memorial Day, we are instructed to thank a veteran or current service member for what they have done for us. Today, thank a worker for making society run. The sacrifices of all of us who labor are forever overlooked.