As we mark the unofficial end of summer by celebrating the Labor Day Holiday weekend, let us remember the reason for Labor Day.
Insufferable working conditions, 6 day work weeks up to 14 hours per day were common and led to the rise of organized labor and the union movement. The struggle for improved working conditions was long and included the sweat, blood and lives of many Brothers and Sisters before legislation and collective bargaining brought respect and dignity to the work place. None of this took place without the resistance of corporate American, and all too often with assistance from local, state and Federal authorities.
Labor unions led the effort for much of what many of today’s employees take for granted; the 5 day forty hour workweek, overtime pay, minimum wages, paid vacation, paid holidays, employer provided health insurance, defined benefit retirement plans, worker compensation programs, unemployment benefits and more. Even though these benefits exist, the struggle continues to maintain them. Many individuals and members of the business community believe these hard won benefits are too “rich” for those who labor and help promote the idea that labor unions are no longer necessary. The Democratic Party continues to serve people before profits and works with organized labor to resist the never ending assault against labor unions and workers in general. There is no mistaking the fact that without the Democratic Party and labor unions the protections and benefits all working people enjoy today would be substantially eroded.
While you are enjoying the last holiday of summer 2017, please take some time to reflect on those benefits your past and current employment provides you and say “Thank You” to those brave Brothers and Sisters and political activists who stood up and insisted upon dignity and respect in the work place.
I wish you all a wonderful Labor Day Holiday!
Proud to be a Democrat,
Leon Fenhaus, Chair