Labor Day is celebrated traditionally on the first Monday in September every year in the United States. The original idea came about in 1882; it is a bit of a controversy who came up with the idea but most agree it is one of these two men, Peter J. McGuire a carpenter or Matthew Maguire a machinist brought the idea to the American forefront. The reasoning behind a Labor Day was to celebrate the men and women in this country who work so hard to contribute to the infrastructure of our country by the manual labor and the sweat of their brows. This Day is to honor them by giving them a day off from work and to recognize all that they do for their families, their employers, and their communities.
It has become a national holiday, that over the years …the reason for the celebration has been diluted by the activities surrounding it. There are picnics, festivals,tele-thons, fireworks, cookouts, parties and get-togethers…all of which are wonderful. However, the reason for the Labor Day needs to once again be brought to the forefront; as people work harder than ever to build businesses, products, and services…but, seemingly the American Worker gets farther and farther behind in their earnings and their savings.
Today, it was announced in the news that personal incomes dropped by 0.7% in the month of July alone…this is the most noteable drop in income, in over three years. This comes as a disappointment as the government had issued those tax incentive rebate checks that were supposed to stimulate the economy. It just goes to show that the fine balancing act that is the American economy, is more than just a little off kilter.
The American worker works longer hours, and has more financial burdens than they need; and, are saving less than ever before. The uncertainity of job security hangs over everyone’s heads as corporations and businessess outsource work to citizens from other countries, or outright move their businesses overseas to save money. It costs more to do business now just as it costs workers more to exist.
The cost of living seems to be raising the stakes as workers struggle with rising gasoline, food prices, health care, education costs, home heating fuel and fluctuating mortgage payments, foreclosures, and bank failures.
Business companies and workers alike need to come back to the idea of the solid American work ethic and the celebratory rewards from their employers for loyalty of service to their employees by investing back in the American economy. CEOs and Administrators need to stop demanding and expecting so many perks and rally up behind some sacrifices that pump some new lifeblood into the network of reliable work histories of the American people. Workers need to work hard to build up the assets of their employers. We can learn alot from our forebearers in how they earned, saved, and how this country was built from the ground up. The American worker who went before, often worked in unsafe working conditions.
We have come a long way in making working conditions safer due to labor unions and the worker creating an awareness about those issues, as well as child labor laws. We can learn from both the good and the bad. People who work hard and are reliable and trustwory as well as dependable; should be rewarded with job security, appropriate income, and benefits. Companies who value their workers and develop stability should be praised and encouraged. Together they are what this country needs to get the balance back where it needs to be. We need to encourage more teamwork between employers and employees.
So this weekend, as you celebrate your well earned time off to spend with your friends and family with a variety of R & R…let’s keep our priorities straight. Celebrate and honor the traditions of those who came before and helped to trailblaize for the American worker of today; when you work…work hard and give your best quality. Companies…if you have workers who don’t do their jobs and don’t give of the appropriate level of work…let them go…there are plenty of workers out there who will.
America has become a bit off balance. There are those who work hard and are proud to do so…and there are slackers who are proud to be slackers. There are companies who struggle to provide good products, and services who honor their workers with appropriate rewards and there are companies who don’t. Unions sometimes will get behind a worker who shouldn’t necessarily be backed up if they are in the wrong. There are occasions where it is hard for a company to dismiss a worker who isn’t working up to the appropriate standard of employment…don’t back up the worker who is in the wrong…it costs the company money, it costs the laborers in morale and it takes jobs away from workers who really want to work and would work hard for what they earn.
The next American President needs to create more opportunities for workers to have jobs and not just in the large metropolitan areas…there are plenty of potential employees who live in the suburbs and in the country areas who need good paying jobs. We need to teach our young people how to work, how to take pride in a job well done and how to respect those in authority over them so that they learn how to be a good employee. Maybe the next American President could take a page out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legacy and create something like the CCC or Civilian Conservation Corps which created an environment of employment, did amazing things for our environment, provided for families, and built a generation of dedicated hard working individuals who gave something meaningful to their country and their communities. That would be amazing!
We want to celebrate the best of the best. Whether you are an executive, a laborer, a clerk, a stock person,a doctor, professor, janitor, or a truck driver, etc…it doesn’t matter, it is about the quality of person that you are; your integrity, and the willingness you have to earn what you are paid for. So what does Labor Day mean to our country today? It could very well mean the difference between building up our economy or the total collapse of the very infrastructure that this country was founded on. Buy American… Happy Labor Day weekend!