It is the last hurrah; the demarcation before the race begins — of the true starting point as well as the finish line. The end of lazy days in summer; the beginning of the long slosh of working days until – Thanksgiving?
Historically, it is the day set aside to celebrate and honor the achievements of the American Labor Movement — that antiquated time when workers demanded and gained “rights” and privileges. Unfettered capitalism required something more than flowery words and good intentions; safety on the workplace floor was not always taken for granted, and when children were put to work and deprived of a childhood, the need for a “labor movement” was spurred into existence.
History does not reflect a time past where good hearted people with a conscience voluntarily provided a “living wage”, or cared about safety and the protection of the worker, or out of a social conscience provided for healthcare, days off to spend with families, restricted the number of hours required to work, etc.
Instead, the long and inglorious history of the Industrial Revolution is replete with poverty-induced wages, unsafe working conditions and uncaring industrialists striving to squeeze every penny out of exhausted and overworked employees. In this modern age, we have been persuaded that those “olden days” of predatory industrialists wouldn’t/couldn’t possibly return; but any study and knowledge of human history would betray such a notion.
The American Labor Movement was a necessary component of human progress; it is relevant today, just as it was in past times. The fact that the American Worker can have a 3-day weekend and enjoy family, friends, a neighborhood barbecue — or just to sleep in for a change — is a testament to that celebratory day we love and cherish: Labor Day, September 5th, 2022.
Robert R. McGill,
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.