The labor movement has striven to improve working conditions, to create workplace democracy, and to actively participate in labor-management decision-making. The many benefits, protections, and rights that workers enjoy today would never have existed if it weren’t for the hard-working, laudable efforts of labor unions and labor leaders who truly have been committed to social justice and equal economic opportunity for everyone.
Labor unions are an extension of democracy! Notwithstanding, there have been initiatives that were designed to degrade labor standards, weaken unions, and erode workplace protections. If successful, those efforts would have diminished the bargaining power and political influence of organized labor.
That said, we should support those candidates for public office who truly are committed to preserving our work force. Specifically, we should back those candidates who firmly agree that it is unconscionable to treat our workforce as irritating speed-bumps along the high-speed roadway to higher political aspirations, larger corporate revenues, immense profit margins, and even greater stock dividends for a very select few.
John Locke stated, “It is labor indeed that puts the difference on everything.” As we enjoy this Labor Day weekend with the typical “end of summer” festivities, let us take a little time to pay tribute to a true unsung hero, the American worker. Let us celebrate the labor force that has built this nation from field to field, from factory to factory, and from office to office.
The American workers have built this great country hand-in-hand.
John Di Genio