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Labor Day – What does it mean to you or how do you celebrate?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Be prepared to become a regular reader.
Labor Day, for me, is exactly what it was meant to be about. It is a day to honor the sacrifices of men and women who fought for their rights against the tyranny of an oligarchy that sought to maintain them in a virtual slavery. Still, there are those who want to convince us that the time of Unions has come and gone, and we should proceed to dismantle them. Little do they know that they’re not only speaking against themselves, but repeating the propagandist lines of corporatists and elitists who would love to return to the status quo of pre-union days.
A huge issue with anti-unionism is both a lack of the knowledge of historical facts regarding unions and an, at least, eight-decade long conditioning of wildly misconceived notions of communism. You can thank the Cold War for the hatred of unions, and accusations that they’re un-American. I suggest reading The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressel (Free on Kindle). It’s British literature. An Edwardian tale of workers and how they often keep themselves down, comfortable in the ignorance and pride they’ve been clothed in. Much of the story will sound familiar, while it also aids in more critically thinking about the system that entraps the masses.
I come from a family that is grateful to unions for the way of life we enjoyed up until the destruction of the economy in 2000. Unions protected us in times of need. They were there for my father when supervisors mistreated him. They have been there for me, to make sure I have benefits and fair wages, decent working conditions, and time to rest. It will be unions that help to maintain a middle class, despite the stagnation we’re worming through and will continue to crawl through for the next decade. Sadly, many unions endorse candidates that seek to overthrow them, or hobble them as much as possible. Mismanagement, however, is no reason to dismantle them. Like any other body, there comes a time to clean house and revisit the impetus that created it in the first place.
So what have unions done for people anyway? Did you know that labor unions made the following 36 things possible?
- Weekends without work
- All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
- Paid vacation
- Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Sick leave
- Social Security
- Minimum wage
- Civil Rights Act/Title VII – prohibits employer discrimination
- 8-hour work day
- Overtime pay
- Child labor laws
- Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
- 40-hour work week
- Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)
- Unemployment insurance
- Workplace safety standards and regulations
- Employer health care insurance
- Collective bargaining rights for employees
- Wrongful termination laws
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
- Whistleblower protection laws
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) – prohibits employers from using a lie detector test on an employee
- Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
- Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises)
- Sexual harassment laws
- Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Holiday pay
- Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
- Privacy rights
- Pregnancy and parental leave
- Military leave
- The right to strike
- Public education for children
- Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 – requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
- Laws ending sweatshops in the United States
Originally posted here.
Without unions, you’d be worse off than workers in sweat shops, and scraping the dirt to survive. Don’t be a fool and think for one moment that a Boss is thinking of anything other than his bottom line.
Laborers have a right to negotiate the terms of the sale of their time and effort, because that is their commodity. Don’t undersell yourself. Slaving so someone else can live on high isn’t noble, and it’s not good enough for you because it was good enough for your father or mother.
Celebrate Labor Day by enjoying your time off, but also use the time to teach someone why unions and labor are so important to each and every one of us. I’m gonna get some hot dogs and preach!
Let’s hop on over and see what the other authors have to say about Labor Day.
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