Labor Day is much more than an excuse for a three day weekend, or an excuse to shop the sales. Those are window dressing - the true sentiment behind Labor Day is to honor those who have labored, to honor the working man and woman. For me, Labor Day 2018 is a very solemn day. As a country, we are at a point where we stand to lose everything that we have gained. It is just that simple. We need to stand up, and we need to fight for rights that we thought we had aleady won. We need to honor the men and women that fought for those rights by reclaiming them.
The history of Labor Day is all about work environment, compensation, rights, and the formation of labor unions. It is a violent history. It is all about the unions against companies, but also unions against local and federal governments. We are talking about unions on all levels here - not just the blue collar workers. We are also talking about unions for federal workers. The current administration is trying to limit the power of unions for federal employees, an example of which would be the union for the Social Scurity Administration. This is serious! Social Security Administration
The current administration is also looking at a pay freeze for federal workers. (The administration has already stated that it will not be giving pay increases to civilian federal employees in 2019. Pay Freeze )
Aside from money, the current administration is set on a course to make is easier for federal employees to be fired. Changes mandated by this administration include the time period for showing improved performance, and reducing the amount of time federal employees can spend on union business. Then there is the little issue of renegotiating union contracts with an eye to saving money.
As citizens of this country, we are losing control of how we can be treated. As individuals, we need to stand up and make our voices known. We need to use our vote wisely. We need to use the tools of calling our elected officials, texting our elected officials, e-mailing our elected officials, and snail mailing our elected officials. We need to get back out there and protest in any way that we can. We need to use the court system wisely - to not be afraid to bring charges against those that are trying to take the power of the working man and woman away from them.
To me it is incredibly symbolic that Senator John McCain's funeral was on Labor Day weekend. Senator McCain believed in honesty, integrity, and hard work. He understood checks and balances, he understood working together with people that we do not necessarily agree with for the common good.
Labor Day 2018 is a turning point for this country. We all need to do everything that we can to protect the rights of the common man, to protect the rights of all workers. And we are all workers.
(c) September 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.