Monday, September 2, 2013

#245 / Labor Day - 2013

At one point (before the Trump Administration eliminated the reference), the website maintained by the United States Department of Labor described the "form" that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take. This "form" was outlined in the first proposal for the holiday: "a street parade to exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families." This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. The picnics and festivals are still with us. The parades less common. Click here for a little more information on Labor Day.

As reflected in the initial "form" of the Labor Day holiday, Labor Day celebrates Organized Labor. We almost all work. We almost all have to. It is our work, in fact, that creates the world in which we most immediately live.

But let's not forget that it isn't our "individual" work that makes the world; it is our collective action.

Facing tough times, as working men and women are stripped of their benefits (and even their workplaces) by the global, corporate powers that presume to rule the world, the basic message of Labor Day remains our best advice.

As Joe Hill is reputed to have put it: "Don't mourn. Organize!"

Image Credit:

1 comment:

  1. The CLU of New York chose the September date for Labor Day as opposed to the May 1 International Workers' Day, since President Grover Cleveland had expressed concern that May Day was associated with Communist, Syndicalist and Anarchist movements commemorating the Haymarket Massacre on International Workers' Day.

    International Workers' Day is celebrated throughout the world on May first, even though denigrated by US anti-communist propaganda during the Cold War.


Thanks for your comment!