At the beginning of the last century, Americans came together through protests, strikes, and union negotiations to fight for the dignity and justice in the workplace. Women and men marched and raised their voices for a 40-hour work week, weekends, and workplace safety laws. It is through their courage and determination that today we enjoy many protections that are often taken for granted today. The idea was to have a living wage, and no one working full time should have to raise their family in poverty. However that is often not the case.
Today we know that many Americans still work long hours. Sometimes people have more than one job just to make ends meet. In our nation, on news casts, we hear about our thriving economy. But for many people that just isn’t true. It’s still a dream. There were promises made that working families can get a fair shot in this country, that our growing economy would benefit everyone and would fuel rising incomes and a thriving middle class. Those promises seem to have benefited the upper one percent quite well, while leaving many in the middle class losing ground.
On Labor Day we remember the struggles and the progress that have defined America over these centuries of history. Perhaps as a people we need to resolve again to build a nation where a secure future is possible for everyone.
Barbara McMullen, CDP