Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Bloody Price Labor Has Paid... We Will Pay Again

This year, like every year, I put our flag up on Labor Day.

As it waved amid the glorious morning sunshine I thought about the life I have enjoyed.

I came from a family that stayed together during the bad times and the good. Never without food, clothing or a decent home, my brother and I, attended excellent public schools. We never feared gangs, beatings by the police, or drugs.

We were lucky. Our parents loved us. We had a great extended family, loaded with wonderful, supportive souls.

Mom, a nurse, and dad, a postman, worked their entire lives so we could live in a good neighborhood. After college, we did our time in the military and then, blessed with abundant opportunities, we pursued our careers.

Our “Good Life”, like all Americans’ “Good Life”, was built upon the sacrifices of our ancestors. They paid dearly for the good fortune we have today.

They shed blood and tears, not only on battlefields around the world, but, here at home, too. In our factories, farms and cities.

From our nation’s very beginning, they carried on multiple battles with the “powers that be”, trying to overcome terrible working conditions, slave-wages, exploitation, and every abuse imaginable perpetrated by managers and owners of businesses, police, national guard and “elected authorities”.

From 1619, when Jamestown Polish craftsmen went on strike because they were denied the right to vote, to 1971, when National Airlines management used crass sexual exploitation of its female employees in the "Fly Me" promotion, to 1986, when female flight attendants won an 18-year lawsuit against United Airlines, which had fired them for getting married, and on and on, until this very moment, when it is now our turn to pick up the torch and continue, "the pursuit of Happiness, Life and Liberty."

Each step along the way was covered with the blood of our ancestors. 

That is what Labor Day is all about… recognition of the price paid just to live and the certain knowledge that we, too, are destine to continue to pay it again.

Hard to believe, isn’t it?
Check, Wikipedia’s Timeline of labor issues and events 1619-2012

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