OK. . so here's my Labor Day rant. Call me a relic, but as the granddaughter of working-class tradesmen, I'm wondering today how many people ever give a thought to the meaning of "Labor" in "Labor Day"? On other honorary holidays - Veterans' Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day . . even St. Valentine's Day - we're constantly reminded of the reason behind the holiday and encouraged to take time to honor it. Schoolkids learn lessons about it, adults hold public events to highlight it . . even Hallmark makes cards to commemorate it.
Labor Day? Not so much . .
Rarely do we hear or see even a nod to those labor activists - including many of our grandparents and great-grandparents - who stood up, sacrificed, fought and sometimes even died for the basic working-class rights we take for granted today. Instead, our celebrations consist of 'last summer weekend' fun and picnics, with supplies purchased . . . where else? At Walmart!
As you party, picnic and shop this weekend, please give a thought to those folks stocking the shelves, flipping the burgers, running the registers and bagging your picnic supplies. Also try to avoid patronizing businesses that refuse to pay these workers a living wage. Instead, let's wish them and their families a "Happy Labor Day" and the hope for a better working future ahead.