Labor Day’s Global Connection

According to Wikipedia, my go-to source on all things just obscure enough to have  cult following, Labor Day is a day to “celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers.”

As the proud child, grandchild, and great-grandchild of union members (and a union member herself), I understand that labor unions have lost a lot of footing in the United States over the past 25 years.  This is especially hard to understand in light of my favorite bumper sticker:  “Unions: the people who brought you the weekend.”

Apparently, Labor Day has its roots in the Eight Hour Day movement, which pushed for eight hours of work, eight hours of rest, and eight hours of leisure time.  Sounds reasonable.  In most countries it is celebrated on May 1st or the first Monday in May.  Only Canada and the United States celebrate on the first Monday in September.

According to some researchers, countries with high union membership are also among the most competitive economically.  I’m not economist, so check it out for yourself.

Whether you’re a union brother or sister or not, here’s hoping you have a wonderful, safe, and restful Labor Day.

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