Looking forward to the three-day weekend? Celebrating the official, unofficial End Of Summer with a long weekend — or perhaps the last weeklong vacay — at the beach or in the mountains? Backyard barbecues and parties are always popular if you're not planning to brave the traffic with actual travel.
Let's get over it, though. There IS no Labor Movement to honor with a Federal holiday any longer. We only have weekends and paid holidays and a 40-hour workweek thanks to that very same movement (as well as safe working conditions, better pay and a ban on child labor...never forget) but let's be honest about the efforts of the right for the past 30-odd years to destroy and vilify the ability of organized labor to advocate for further improvements in the condition of the middle class.
ALEC and the right have won. Yes, they have. It's time to acknowledge that North Carolina and 21 other states have passed Right-to-Work laws, making collective bargaining ILLEGAL (don't let the name of the legislation fool you). Our teachers, for example, are near the bottom of the state rankings in pay and work in some of the largest class-sizes — even in wealthy school districts.
Right-to-Work simply means that contractors for jobs bid against each other without regard either to the quality of the outcome of the work OR to the eventual amount/hour that they will pay their labor. I know. I recently remodeled my home. A piece of advice: NEVER accept the lowest bid!
IF organized labor had been allowed to renegotiate wages upward, simply to keep pace with the increase in American productivity since 1968, the average hourly wage would now be $24.56, instead of $13.74. That doesn't even take into account cost of living, benefits, inflation, etc. It has nothing whatever to do with the minimum wage. It simply means that we're underpaying our workers by almost half, based upon what they produce.
So, I hereby propose that we REVOKE Labor Day. It is meaningless and not worth celebrating and we don't need another paid holiday, anyway.
Happy Corporation Day Weekend, everyone. By the way, you're expected at work on Monday morning.