(My poem "Labor Day 2013" is HERE.)
The skies opened and rain, rain, RAINED. Stopped for a minute, and now pour again. My daily Facebook is filled with reminders of union actions that made the USA a better place to work and warnings about upcoming legislation that turns some of that around. To me, reading the history of labor unions while watching governments dissolve them is poignant and energizing. Democracy is powerful when its people engage in it and apply their voting and veto and marching-to-be heard powers.
From Wikipedia where you can read much more:
In the US, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.
In many countries, the working classes sought to make May Day an official holiday, and their efforts largely succeeded. In the United States and Canada, however, the official holiday for workers is Day in September. This day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre, US President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.
Today's New York Times Opinion Section, re-ran Cindy Hahamovitch's " "The Lessons of Belle Glade" originally published July 18, 2013. A historian, Ms. Hahamovitch provides context for understanding the latest migrant worker options pending in Congress. Read the article; it's powerful.
I wish an equally clear context was available for current legislation that feels to me like attacks on teachers and our unions. While union reform is necessary, the union breaking and economics involved with funding education seems to be political and not related to any policy present and past. Correct me if I am wrong.
Please help me find clear readings providing an historical context for today's impoverishment of education that ultimately affects children, families, and the future of this nation.
(My poem "Labor Day 2013" is HERE.)(I am aware that I left weapons out of this poem, over-
simplifying the tactics of terrorists and tyrants.
I pray for safety in the Labor Day streets
of the USA and elsewhere.)