This Week in the Mercury


Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Posted by Goldy on Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Today is Labor Day, the day the federal government and all 50 states reserve to ostensibly celebrate the contribution of workers. Although we don't call it Worker Day or Employee Day, or even Manager-Worker Mutual Appreciation Day, but rather Labor Day, as a deliberate recognition of the contribution of organized labor. You know... unions.

So if the union-busting Scott Walker wing of the Republican Party were honest about their politics they wouldn't celebrate the day, or at the very least, would call to change the name to Business Day or Capital Day or Plutonomist Day or White Male Christian Labor Day or something else that better reflected their beliefs about who truly contributes to our economy.

Bonus Labor Day Trivia:
Oregon was the first state to officially celebrate Labor Day, on the first Saturday in June of 1887; several other states followed later that year, choosing the first Monday in September. The immediate impetus was the infamous Haymarket Riot and Massacre of 1886. President Grover Cleveland declared Labor Day a national holiday in 1894 in an effort to appease organized labor after the brutal suppression of the Pullman Strike.

Which just goes to show you: The rights and privileges so many working Americans take for granted (the weekend, the 40 hour work week, basic workplace safety, etc.) were not a gift of benevolent capitalists, but were rather won through the spilling of workers' blood, and the threat/fear of even greater economic and social disruption.

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Comments are closed.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy