Labor Day ~ Happy or Otherwise

I used to think labor unions were a pain in the butt; some burly guy got a lot of the meek and humble to sign up, give them part of their pay, then enforced all kinds of restrictions on the people who owned the companies on behalf of the workers’ rights, and they lined their own pockets in the process.

The saying, “Never love a corporation, it won’t love you back,” got its start pre-labor unions, I’m betting (not that the unions ever made corporations more lovable once they got going).

Then, my thinking took a paradigm shift. Sure, I don’t need a labor union to protect my right to anything:

  • Health care
  • Paid vacations
  • Holidays
  • 40-hour week, which then turns into overtime when I do more than the basic 40
  • A feeling of social membership

I’d rather arrange for all of these things all by myself, and I have.

However, not everyone’s as independent and entrepreneurial as I am, so my mind’s beginning to change a bit as regards labor unions, and this is a big switheroo for me at this point in my life.

Why the switch? Well, Americans are all watching manufacturing jobs be outsourced to third world countries, where all the same sweatshop conditions have started up again for people in countries where no one’s protecting those who are willing to work hard to get ahead.

So, today, as I have a glass of wine while I take a few hours off this afternoon, I’m going to reflect on the fact that I can have this day to take some time off, because labor unions have made this day a time to not be working and… guess what… I’m benefiting.

2 Responses to “Labor Day ~ Happy or Otherwise”

  1. Keith Settle says:

    Hi Jo,
    How timely was the raid at the Iowa Kosher meet packing plant. The treatment that the workers were forced to endure was not what you would expect to see in America. It seems like more and more focus is on the corporations and less and less on fairness for working people.

  2. admin says:

    Hello Keith,

    Gone are the days of the “gold watch,” which was a symbol for “we care.” Today, you’re lucky to walk away with the pension that you’ve created yourself – from money taken out of your own pay – for retirement.

    Americans have lost a lot to greedy bosses, which is why the unions were born in the first place.

    It’s a very sad time for those who aren’t in power (as worker bees) and are left powerless (by the queen bees).

    All I know is, I’ve learned from some of the worst bosses how to be the best boss. That’s all I can do… treat my employees fairly, and reward them with whatever I can… One good boss at a time can (perhaps) turn the battleship around. It appears that unions make it happen a lot faster, and that’s a good thing for a lot of people. — jo

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