Posts Tagged ‘Labor Day’
Sunday, September 1st, 2013
Think Maypole? Yes, but, there is so much more. May Day started in the U.S. in the late 1880′s to commemorate the struggle by workers to shorten 10-16 hour workdays to 8-hours. At its 1884 national convention in Chicago, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (the future AFL), proclaimed that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.” The federation called for workers to negotiate with their employers for an eight-hour workday and, if that failed, to call a general strike on May 1 in support of the demand. The terrible aftermath of that first May Day 1886 in Chicago, the Haymarket massacre, would convince politicians and businesses to move labor events to Labor Day in September so the memory of what happened in 1886 would be erased from public memory.
Monday, September 10th, 2012
Labor Day 2012 defined by U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA), spokesperson for the Alternate Universe of America:
“Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.“
Gee, what else could businesses be doing besides hiring workers? Bloomberg reporter Richard Rubin cited a March 2012 study of 70 corporations that together keep $187 billion out of the reach of the IRS. General Electric ($102 billion) and Pfizer ($63 billion) lead the list that includes Apple, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Oracle and Google.
Friday, August 31st, 2012
Throughout the years we at the WBI have covered Labor Day from the workers’ rights perspective. The holiday is not just for shopping or camping. It’s about honoring people who work. More specifically, as the historical accounts below make clear, it is about emancipating workers from horrific working conditions and doing so collectively, in an organized way. Yes, the union way.
Unions are demonized daily and growing extinct. The attacks are leveled without rebuttal by “journalists” or cowardly politicians who should represent everyone’s interests rather than corporate employers. Media reps are afraid of losing ad dollars. Politicians fear bucking the pro-corporate PACs with the funds to pour into their opponents’ campaign coffers. Unions can only muster 6% of all contributions to politicians. Corporatists control the system.
Income inequality grows in the U.S. The connection between declining unionization rates and inequality is not accidental. They are mutually determinative. That is, the richest among us want to make America a minimum wage nation, while unions ask nothing more than a living wage on which families can provide shelter, food, clothing and education for their children. Somehow, the most greedy have convinced the majority of us that those needs are excessive. That earning a $40,000 wage with benefits and a fixed pension is bankrupting America. Balderdash!!!
So, union-bashers take the weekend off, please. Let’s see how many union folks are featured in media coverage during the one holiday that belongs to them — Labor Day.
For 2012, we collected past postings, including a favorite WBI podcast.
Podcast: Labor Day Message for Working Folks
Restoring dignity for the underclasses with help from Franklin Roosevelt, Mark Twain (Hal Holbrook), Andrew Cuomo, Harry Chapin.
Read the report cited in the podcast: No Rhyme or Reason: The ‘Heads I Win, Tails You Lose’ Bank Bonus Culture by Andrew Cuomo, then NY State Attorney General
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Dick Meister, FDR, Labor Day, Mark Twain
Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Podcasts, The New America, Unions, WBI Education | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
May Day. A day to herald the coming of Spring with song and dance, a day for children with flowers in their hair to skip around beribboned maypoles, a time to crown May Day queens.
But it also is a day for demonstrations heralding the causes of working people and their unions such as are being held on Sunday that were crucial in winning important rights for working people.