Labor Day: It’s About Us

I thought a lot about Labor Day today. Mama and Papa invited us over for a refesher course in gluttony lunch. This day isn’t just about barbecues and the last day you can wear white, it is about us workers.

Having this one day off between 4th of July and Thanksgiving didn’t come without cost. And it was steep. The Pullman Palace Car Company cut workers wages as its companies revenue and demand for their rail cars dropped. That and 16 hour workdays was enough. They striked and railroad workers across the nation joined them. 125K railroad workers quit rather than handle Pullman’s cars. The government intervened because the strike was a threat to national safety and would interfere with mail delivery. As a result, 13 people were killed by the US Army and Marshals breaking up the strike. Making it a national holiday was the government’s way to appease labor.

I am very thankful for my job. And I’m thankful for the things the labor movement allows me and millions of other workers enjoy. Holidays, 8 hour workdays, overtime, etc. Workers like those in the Pullman Strike died for better conditions and pay.

I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day. This holiday celebrates our contributions and achievements and those of workers before us.


16 responses to “Labor Day: It’s About Us

  • nonnie9999

    how sad is it when the middle class–the cops, firefighters, teachers, and all the other working stiffs–became the bad guys, while the uber-rich people and corporations, who almost destroyed the entire economy while lining their own pockets, became the victims who must be given even more?

  • dcmartin

    “Happy Labor Day everyone! Please remember it is the businesses in this country that create jobs. The government doesn’t and the labor unions certainly don’t.”

    That was the Facebook status of one of my wingnut friends for Labor Day.
    Enlightened, eh?
    😦

  • lobotero

    I think it is beyond time for a Labor Party….someone that has the health of the workers at the heart…..

  • lbwoodgate

    Sadly, too many laborers had to work this day because the economy demanded it. 😦

  • Terrance H.

    Spinny,

    I realize Labor Day is important and it came at a cost…

    But it still pisses me off. I’m a nerd. I like to read, and so I’m at the library almost everyday, whenever I have free time. Yet it was closed Labor Day.

    Arg.

    Like being a librarian is such a tough job. Geez.

    “Ohh. This book is sooo heavy!!!”

    I know. I’m sounding like a conservative again. But hey, I like the library. I’m a library person.

    🙂

    • Spinny Liberal

      I loved the library when I was young. Now that research is available at my fingertips, I’ve gotten majorly lazy about going. Doesn’t help that budget cuts limited the days/hours they’re open.

      😆 One book may not be, but a cart full? And remember, back in the day they had to deal with card catalogs. The old school ones, especially, deserve a break!!

  • Snoring Dog Studio

    Gawd, you’re funny, Terrance, even when you’re reverting back to conservative values. Hey – why don’t you try reading books on the net? There are some great free book sites out there. Or, do you just have a thing for a redheaded librarian??

    • Terrance H.

      Snoring,

      You people just don’t understand the romance involved in holding a book, softly caressing its pages, smelling their sweet scent.

      I don’t want to turn anybody on here, but I’m quite serious. There is a romance involved with real books and that is why I will never – NEVER – buy a Kindle or Nook or any other device for the sole purpose of reading a book.

      If I have free time and I’m not in the library, I’m at Barnes & Noble buying something to add to my collection of real books that I can touch, smell, and love in person.

      You guys should understand, as you’re older than me. I won’t say “quite older,” but you’re older.

      A redheaded librararian? There is one, but she’s not nearly as pretty as you…:-)

      Figure I had to make up for the “older” part. LOL.

  • dcmartin

    I wholeheartedly agree with Terrance. At some point I MIGHT break down and buy a Kindle or Nook for travel purposes, but IMO, you just can’t beat a genuine, honest-to-God book reading experience. Books were my best friends in my messed-up childhood, and I will never abandon them.

    Besides, when that whole Rapture/Apocalypse thing the Republicans are so keen on bringing about comes, your technology isn’t going to work, but I’ll still have my books.
    Eat that, techies!!!!!!
    🙂

    • Terrance H.

      DCMartin,

      Thanks. I was beginning to think I was alone. Or, at the very least, I was thinking the “older” comment prompted those two to plan my assassination or something. The silence was very reassuring.

      As far as travel, I don’t. And if I do, I’m always driving, because me and planes don’t go well together. So, hard to read while driving…LOL. And when I’m at my destination, I go to the library. Yep. I have temporary patron cards from three states. Woot! Woot!

      • Spinny Liberal

        I think I’m going to take a shot of Geritol and brush up on the Dewey Decimal System. 😛

        Electronic books can be convenient. I don’t have one though. I agree that regular books are much nicer. Curling up with a good Kindle just doesn’t sound right.

  • Snoring Dog Studio

    Oh, I’m with you on that, Terrance – I won’t read a book electronically ever. Perhaps on those days you can’t get into the library, you keep on hand a stock of caressable books. No need to go without the love/lust!

    You can’t soften the “much older” comment. I will now go drown my hurt in a large glass of Metamucil – I mean, wine!

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