I’m working today – as we all should be. It would be different if they called Labor Day ‘the last day of Summer’ or ‘Fun at the Lake Day’ or ‘Beach BBQ Day’ – but I hate the fact that it’s called Labor Day. Labor Day is a joke.
In most civilized parts of the world – Labor Day is May 1st – also known as International Workers Day or May Day. I support that holiday – but the USA has not and never has. Instead, the capitalist USA political machine has always been scared of organized labor, they’ve always been scared of workers organizing, and they’ve always been scared of the workers controlling the means of production. They’ve labored such things as red, communist, socialist, or anti-American. The reason is that the capitalist class have always depended on the slave labor of the workers to make themselves rich. There has been a war against organized labor in this country for a long while and the capitalists are winning it bigger than ever.
Gone are the days when unions were controlled by the workers, gone are the days when there were calls for shorter work days, shorter work weeks, higher pay, better benefits, or lifetime security for loyal workers – instead we live in a country where companies are immortal and workers are hired as ‘contractors’ which is a fancy way of saying they have no job security and no benefits they don’t provide for themselves.
In 1886, on May 4th, following organized labor activities and protests (on May 1st – the real labor day) which followed demands for an 8 hour workday – police killed several protestors and riots ensued – culminating in protestors bombing the police with dynamite and the police killing four more and then seven being sentenced to death for conspiracy. This, many say, is the origin of the world’s labor day on May 1st ( though actually, MayDay goes further back than that) – in a sense – one could argue that communism has it’s roots in this American event – thus is an American institution which has been villainized and made to appear foreign and anti-American. In any event, President Grover Cleveland feared that MayDay celebrations would be used to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre and celebrations were banned. After the Pullman Strike where Federal Marshalls and U.S. military killed workers demanding safer conditions, the government rushed to create a National ‘Labor’ Day – but designated it be in September to avoid remembrance of government brutality towards workers demanding better conditions and safer work environments. The choice of September 1st was blatantly political and championed by President Grover Cleveland to disempower nascent Communist, Anarchist, and Syndicalist movements which used MayDay as a rallying point to bring workers to a more empowered system.
Retailers love Labor Day and it is said to be the 2nd best retail sale day of the year – which means that workers are working longer hours on this holiday celebrating labor rights
The United States Capitalist Army has won it’s war against organized labor. They have villainized labor as mobsters, communists, and criminals. They have created a holiday that disempowers workers from solidarity with workers in other countries, and they have impovershed workers to the point where we are all working longer hours, getting less benefits, and earning less buying power (less money). There is no need to outlaw labor organizations because they are already working against labor.
Congratulations America. Happy Labor Day.