Today, Labor Day, is an American federal holiday that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. (Wikipedia).
The lack of articles in today's Journal Sentinel about Labor Day is disappointing.
Yesterday's paper had a reference to Labor Day-- in the Journal Sentinel Crossroads section at the bottom of the last page. It was from Phil Neuenfeldt, the president of the Wisconsin state AFL-CIO.
The headline of Neuenfeldt's op-ed: We all prosper when workers are respected and recognized.
It begins: “This Labor Day, we recognize the working people who keep Wisconsin and America strong. That’s pretty much all of us, whether we’re employed or looking for work. We are proud, we are patriotic and we believe that if you play by the rules, you get ahead. We believe in an America where all workers are treated with respect and dignity.”
Of course, with your computer, you can find additional references to Labor Day on the Internet.
For example, here's a communication from the White House (Presidential Proclamation—Labor Day 2012)
LABOR DAY, 2012
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Through times of prosperity and hardship alike, America counts on the strength and dynamism of the world's finest labor force. From the factory floor and the office to the classroom and the interstate, working men and women are the unshakable foundation of American innovation and economic growth. On Labor Day, we celebrate their vital role and reaffirm that America will always stand behind our workers.
The rights and benefits we enjoy today were not simply handed to working men and women; they had to be won. Brick by brick, America's labor unions helped raise the landmarks of middle-class security: the 40-hour workweek and weekends, paid leave and pensions, the minimum wage and health insurance. Social Security and Medicare. These are the victories that make our Nation's promise possible -- the idea that if we work hard and play by the rules, we can make a better life for ourselves and our families.
I am committed to preserving the collective bargaining rights that helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known. It is the fundamental right of every American to have a voice on the job, and a chance to negotiate for fair pay, safe working conditions, and a secure retirement. When we uphold these basic principles, our middle class grows and everybody prospers.
Our Nation faces tough times, but I have never stopped betting on the American worker. This is the labor force that revolutionized the assembly line and built the arsenal of democracy that defeated fascism in World War II. These are the workers who built our homes, highways, and rail lines, who educate our children and care for the sick. American workers have taken us through the digital revolution and into a 21st century economy. As my Administration fights to create good jobs and restore the American dream, I am confident that, together, we will emerge from today's challenges as we always have -- stronger than ever before.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 3, 2012, as Labor Day. I call upon all public officials and people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the contributions and resilience of working Americans.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
And here are more references to Labor Day you can easily access online. (Click on the links provided (highlighted words):
This Labor Day--- by Randi Weingarten (President, American Federation of Teachers), published on Huffington Post.
“Labor Day means many things to many people-- back to school, end of summer, a needed respite from the daily grind. For working people and union members, Labor Day stands for something special and profound,” she writes.
Labor Day: Team America, including workers, built that— by Leo W. Gerard ( International President, United Steelworkers), published on Huffington Post.
Thankful for the Unions—happy Labor Day Meg’s Cognitive Dissidence blog post entry.
Over at Blogging Blue, you’ll find the stirring words of John L. Lewis’s “The Rights of Labor” radio address. Click here to read it.