Tomorrow is Labor Day, a moment to commemorate the role of America’s working people, and to mourn the rapid decline of American labor unions, under constant attack by corporations and the Republican Party.
If it were not for labor unions, the kinds of benefits that America’s workers have had—including minimum wage, maximum hours, holidays, sick leave, vacations, occupational safety and health, the end of child labor, promotion of equal pay for women—and others, would not have existed.
But it has become much more difficult for labor unions to overcome the ignorance and hate that has emerged since Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic control controllers who went on strike in 1981, and has continued to face attack by Republican Governors, including Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and others, who have managed to propagandize that public labor unions are an evil that must be destroyed. It is extremely ironic that the only President to be the head of a labor union—The Screen Actors Guild—-was the one who started the rapid decline of labor organizations in America!
Despite all this, this is a time to reflect on and remember and honor the labor movement, which has had such an impact on America, and to understand that the labor movement is in trouble, but not ready to give up the struggle for America’s workforce over the coming years!