|HOORAY FOR LABOR DAY|
Monday, 7:00 AM. 60 degrees F, wind W, calm. The sky is somewhat overcast and quite hazy. The barometer predicts rain, which we had a few sprinkles of about 3:30 AM when a weak front with a lot of mostly silent lightening blew on through. It looks like it will be a hot, hazy day, a final tribute to summer.
Today is Labor Day, and there is no denying the powerful ancient imagery of the Labor Movement; defiant strikers of old marching against the evil Robber Barons of yesterday. There have been times in my life when I have bought into the imagery, the rhetoric, even many of the historic elements of Labor Day. After all, life is conflict, from birth to death, and all of us, if we live long enough, are likely to find ourselves on a side of an issue or in a political or philosophical camp that we had not envisioned ourselves ever to be on or in. So I can embrace free enterprise and capitalism fully, while acknowledging its excesses and its tumultuous past, and unions as well. So, Hooray for Labor Day!
Except (you knew an exception was coming) I object to the incompleteness of its name. Change it to Organized Labor Day and I will give it at least a modicum of acceptance. Unfortunately the holiday as presently, and incorrectly named, leaves out about eighty percent of the nation’s workers. People like myself who labored in a profession, or own a business, or work at home for the family; do we not also labor? Where is our day of respect and adulation? Organized Labor has had its day, and yet it wants desperately to hang on, pretending to represent and speak for a vast majority of people that it has no interest in and is often antagonistic towards.
I am not anti-union. In fact I have in the past belonged to the Construction Laborer’s union, the United Electrical Workers union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union. I was forced to join them all, but I didn’t protest overly much and paid my dues, as I saw each as a passing phase in my life. I am not anti-union, I just have little interest in the cause of workers who are paid outrageous sums to put together automobiles that I can’t afford to buy.
So here’s to the movement that drove the breweries from Milwaukee and the auto industry from Detroit; hey, there’s still beer enough left, and autos still ply the freeways. I’ll burn a burger and quaff a brew for you today, for you’re a determined lot, I’ll grant you that, as you’ve managed to close the Post Office today as well as everything else. So, Organized Labor, go on, have your day!