On this Labor Day, let us pause in reflection and thanks. Our nation — its prosperity, power, and promise — was built on the back of labor. Much of it was built by those who were enslaved, indentured, and considered expendable. Progress in how we protect and compensate working women and men was hard fought at every turn. There was fierce resistance against even the idea of unions and organized labor. Once the movement slowly and with great difficulty began to take root, it yielded progress for working people, from the factories to the fields. And it elected political leaders dedicated to serving the people and not just the powerful and prosperous.
Thank you both for this thoughtful Honor! I was an elementary school teacher for 15 years, and, then, a principal for 15. It was a wonderful "calling," and rewarding work!
I appreciate all that you have written.
Thank you, Dan Rather, for your wonderful words regarding the labor force of our nation. Eloquent as always.
Agree that our labour is the one unifier
Beautifully written piece. “We all deserve respect” and your ending of “The diversity of our labor is one of our core strengths, like the diversity of our populace.” Stood out. Too often people are disrespected these days, cut off from speaking, living lives that are full, going to jobs where they feel seen, heard and valued and so much more. Too often we look away and this piece spoke to my heart because my family came over from Europe with very little and during the time of Roosevelt presidency, when the CCC was created, my family was employed by the CCC to help make America what it is today.
I respect the value of all workers. Without the people at the bottom, we cannot have anyone at the top. Everyone deserves to create a life worth living and that means not only affording basic needs but comforts of life as well. We all deserve to be comfortable and live respectable lives. No one can do that when they are scraping by.
Thank you for this piece. I am committed to always helping others, respecting all and embracing all cultures. After all, that IS the American way.
To all of my Union brothers,you are my heros. From a retired worker in automotive and construction. Local 402 Carpenters/Millwrights.
Dan and Elliot: This is beautiful, and so right on point. It was the growth of the Unions that created the "middle class" for all Americans and took the economy of this country to new heights. You are so right that the struggle is not yet finished. Over 40 years ago the former President Reagan literally destroyed the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, an organization dominated by returning Vietnam veterans who’d learned air traffic control in the military, and who had actually supported Reagan in the 1980 election. This destruction of one labor union/organization started the slow downward trend of millions of Americans believing that unions would destroy our economy; having fewer new and younger workers joined unions, and after so many decades, losing the safety and security of the work place and the stagnation of salaries in many, many jobs, both "blue and white collar." To honor labor is to honor ALL hardworking Americans, and to keep the ideal of the American Dream alive.
My daddy is a fierce fighter for unions. He fought and labored for pay increases and
benefits for his coworkers and himself. I’m a proud union member.
Beautifully written. Thank you for the reminder of what we owe to unions and the people who work to better the lives of all people. We need to focus on paying all people a living wage. We should not glorify the wealthy. Nor should we denigrate those people who have to work hard just to make ends meet.
Thanks for these beautiful, life- and justice-affirming thoughts.
I wish you could give this as a speech to our US Senate and US House of Representatives. What you've written is absolutely on point and deserves to be heard by those who are naysayers and who profit from the workers of whom you write. Thank you for this tribute.
As a former union organizer for The Newspaper Guild let me share a blog post I wrote some five years ago about a great union organizer:
Michael J Contos,
Conshohocken, PA 19428
So eloquently written! Thank you, Dan and Elliot.
Amazing comment for Labor Day! Thank you Mr. Rather.
The only thing that's trickled down
Is colored yellow
Hardly nothing else will reach
This country's average fellow
While workers brains and arms prop up the giant corporations
The thugs always try to derail
Tax advantages for the rich mean
Most folks left with greavings
The fat cats get filet mignon
poor folks get the leavings
The CEO says he works hard
To justify his yearnings
But the worker seldom has the pull
To magnify his earnings
Labor Day 2023
Dan Rather, you are an institution. Part of so many lives, and mine. It is such a pleasure to hear your words of wisdom and experience. Thank you.