Today is Labor Day, a day of tribute to workers that owes its creation to labor unions. I wonder whether the people who oppose labor unions and consider them anathema to the American spirit of bootstrap independence insist on working today? I wonder whether those same people find weekends off work, an eight-hour workday, paid vacations, and Social Security equally as offensive?
I doubt many of us spend much time contemplating the value of workers’ collectivism in years past. Workers rebelled against inhumane conditions and otherwise asserted their rights to decent treatment. We owe many of our workplace standards to labor unions. Labor unions changed over time and, in my opinion, they overstepped the bounds of reason from time to time. Those mistakes led to public reactions against them and, taking advantage of those public responses, employers taking advantage. It’s a cycle, I hope, that will eventually smooth into a straight line of respect and honor. In the meantime, I think it’s best to remember why Labor Day exists. Enough of that maudlin stuff; I have preparations to make for our adventure.