Labor Day In The United States, the first Monday in September.
Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority.
The first proposal for Labor Day defined the celebration of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,” followed by a festival for the workers and their families.
Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
Today, 2010, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer and regarded as a day for rest or parties — including picnics, barbecues, and fireworks displays.
Most important to the American psyche, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons.
What a transition of purpose, appropriately marking the real-world demise of respect for the contributions and labor of workers* and its usurpation by Corporatism in the United States.
Despite all the difficulties and challenges, however, Labor Day is the time when millions of workers put out their American flags to display the love they have for their country.
*Who’s a “Worker?” Well, just about everyone. If you are not senior or executive management, not a significant shareholder with influence, not independently wealthy… If you are susceptible to layoffs, evaluated by productivity measures, living pay check to pay check, worried about affording a child’s education, a home loan downpayment, and even your own retirement… Then, you are likely a “Worker.”
“Patriotism means more than lip service,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. “It means taking action to ensure that working people have the good jobs they need to support families – creating an environment worthy of the American dream.”
Even… even the small business owner is likely a “Worker.”
The Worker is not someone “out there.” The worker is not just the guy with dirty fingernails, sweat on the brow, shift work or hourly schedules… Today, the Worker is also the person in an air conditioned office, sitting in a cubicle, tapping on a computer keyboard, eligible for bonuses, neatly dressed, striving toward a quota… The Worker is most all of us — we’ve simply not recognized the shifting definition as our economy and jobs shifted to a service economy.
We have been easily distracted such that we don’t even recognize who we are within the structure of our economy and society.
You have a choice…