A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Workers' Rights: Happy Labour Day

The U.S. is the only nation in the world that celebrates Labour Day on a day other than May 1st, which is International Labour Day. There's reasons for that, even if they are pathetic, wimpy reasons. But enough with the quibble.

Today is Labour Day in this fair nation, and let us all take the time to remember that it was the strong hands of working men and women that gave us the blessings we take for granted today. Let us honour those workers, both voluntary and involuntary (although, let's face it, unless you're doing something you really love, all work is involuntary. We work so that we will not starve.), who built the roads, the bridges, the hospitals and schools, who taught our children and nursed our sick and cared for our aged and our poor. Who grew our crops and picked them and trucked them to market so we could enjoy the bounty of the land. Who designed and built and assembled the cars we drove. Who fixed our machines and worked on our railroads.

Remember the slaves of African descent who were forced to give the fruits of their labour to others, who profited greatly from them. Remember the Chinese railroad workers, brought here in their thousands to provide cheap labour while surviving somehow in substandard housing, the victims of hatred. Remember the Japanese truck gardeners and market gardeners, imprisoned in concentration camps and robbed of the fruits of their labour and everything they owned. Remember the Indians who came as farmers and agricultural labourers and were vilified for their ethnicity and religion, prohibited from bringing their wives and families and victims of the same Exclusion Act that was used to discriminate against the Chinese. Remember the Irish, sold into indentured servitude which outlasted their own lifetimes in many cases. Remember those of every ethnicity and colour, the workers who came from all over the world seeking freedom and a better life for themselves or their children.

Without the labour of millions of hard-working people, we would not have the abundance of riches that we enjoy today. Therefore, as we enjoy this public holiday, let us remember those who made today a day off from work for millions of labouring men and women. And let us honour those who suffered in the long struggle for the right of working people everywhere to be treated as human beings, and not chattel.

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At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:41 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Thank you, girlfriend! Praise from the praiseworthy, is what I say.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger themom said...

You are right on - in everything here. I find it a shame, that for most it is just another cook-out event, with very little thought as to WHY they don't have to work this day! Sad.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Thank you, themom. You're spot on, too.


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