I celebrated Labor Day by going to a political picnic in the local park sponsored by the Progressive Candidate for Patrick Kennedy's seat in the Rhode Island First Congressional District, David Segal. It was a low key affair. The candidate actually spoke to people, answering questions, and wonder of wonders, listening. Meanwhile his young volunteers grilled corn and burgers for anyone who was feeling a bit peckish.
|When I moved to Rhode Island Segal was about minus 3 years old.|
Most people in the park were not there for politics, nor were they there to celebrate Labor. This has not always been the case. I love this float from a New York City Labor Day Parade.
|The picture should link to the Labor arts website.||.|
This happens in New York no longer. Now the parade happens the Saturday after Labor Day, but this year, no parade because that Saturday falls on September 11. I bet no front page coverage of the Labor Struggle in the New York Newspapers. I expect that there might not be much coverage on the inside pages either. How sad--how disastrous for Progressive causes. When the white collar work force wakes up to the fact that it is just as exploited as the blue collar workforce, it will be too late to do much about it. Computer programming is as easy to globalize as garment making--easier, actually.
But this should be a day of celebration. Here's a couple of things to do. First go read Sleepin' Jeezuz story,
You'll be very glad you did. Write and tell him how good it is. You'll be very glad you did that, too. And if you have a Kowalczyk in your famliy or among your friends, cherish him or her. While I'm in the homework doling out mood, here's assignment two: Visit Truthdig and read David Bacon's Photo Essay, The Face of Labor in the Streets. Pledge never to cross a picket line at a Hotel. Pledge never to stay at a hotel which treats its employees like dirt. Pledge to tell the Hotel company why you're staying elsewhere. And, if you feel like it, give negative reports at the various online booking companies, Travelocity, Orbitz, and the like.
What, still more homework? Sure. I'm a tough old prof. The University of Washington Libraries Website has a marvelous page of links on Labor History. Visit it, click on something which catches your eye and honor labor by looking at it. Some things there may catch your ear. There are oral history files as well. The page is no longer being updated, but the links I checked out did work.
And here's your recess treat.
And because I know which side you're on (I heard you singing), here's a bonus treat. Sing even louder!
Happy Labor Day.