Sunday, September 03, 2006

Labor Day

In 1894 President Grover Cleveland signed a law proclaimingLabor Day a holiday.

Labor Day celebrates organized labor, or unions -- the working man and woman who cannot stand alone negotiating with the big industrialist. Unions had an official day, but it still wasn't an easy ride. It has been a long road, and labor's story may not be finished yet.

I have never been in a union, but I know something about them because I have worked in the travel and hopitality industry. However, before that my first deep impression came from The Jungle -- not an easy read, but an eye-opener.

Why do we need unions anyway? Many individual workers toiled in poverty, in unfair and unreasonable working conditions, with few or no options to improve their lives. Or their families' lives, or neighbors' or fellow workers' lives, or even those around the world. Remember Lech Waleska? Poland is celebrating the 26th anniversary of Solidarity.

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