Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grateful on Labor Day 2011

Logo courtesty of http://www.madeindetroit.com

I gladly labored in the 90-degree heat in order to earn a small wage this past weekend - volunteered with the “Women’s Club” at a small, southern town festival; babysat two yuppie larvae a couple of nights before; cleaned out a chicken coop and planned a business trip for a new part-time job.

Whose life is this anyway?

I made more money and had greater job security as a copy boy in a northern, big city newspaper in the 80s-90s than I did as the publisher of my own newspaper a decade later.

When I was a toddler in the late-1950s/early-60s at the height of union participation in the U.S., more than a third of all American workers belonged to unions. Last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the union-membership rate was less than 12%.  

Am I anti-union? Heck, no. But I’m searching for the happy medium. Is there such a thing? The pendulum swings, so I hear.
Some argue that over the years unions had become too powerful and in many cases harmed the very businesses that employed its members. 

But, as Time Magazine recently pointed out and many still strive for, unions also helped bring about a minimum wage, a reasonable workweek and rights for employees within the workplace. 

It was tough celebrating “labor” this weekend, with the sickening lack of work in this country, but I’m grateful for the pennies I collect.

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