Labor Day – A Reflection

Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, a great national holiday, a day set aside for the American worker and to celebrate the ordinary citizen.

This day is meant to honor laborers, it is a day to honor work. It is meant to be a day of rest, repose and respite, but this year it is a day that we must acknowledge our collective anxiety as there are twenty million Americans unemployed, out of work and uncertain of our future.

I spent most of my life working in the hospitality sector. Now I am self-employed but my clients are mostly restaurants, this year many of my friends and colleagues have had to shutter their businesses, close their doors, cut their hours, reduce their staff change their business model to account for the global pandemic COVID-19.  

There are millions of workers that have the day off this year who would rather be working. We have had too much time off, but the nation is not ready to reopen.

Our chief executive has abdicated the responsibility for managing this crises, preferring to pretend that it will go away on its own.

It will not.

Each of our fifty states has a different plan to handle the pandemic, some governors have followed the president’s example, abdicating their responsibility, putting it off on local governments at the county and municipality level. Some of these governors have taken even more draconian steps and signed orders that limit what local governments can do to protect their people and find a safe way to live, go to school, engage in commerce and move forward.

Today we count the number of dead at 190,000 and climbing.

On Memorial Day we were poised to cross the 100,000 threshold. Ninety thousand more Americans dies over the summer, and it did not have to be this way.

It does not have to be this way, but it will continue to be this way until we have leadership that acknowledges the scope of the emergency, and puts together a plan to manage the crises.

The economy will continue to struggle, the stock market notwithstanding, a million Americans will file new claims for unemployment every week, the unemployment rate will continue to hover around ten percent, Americans will not return to work for as long as the status quo remains the same.

The unemployed American worker needs relief. The House of representatives has passed a bill to provide. The Senate has opted not to address and the president is actively working against it.

We need the Hero’s act to pass to provide this relief, we need to keep those who are still working, working, we need it to help those who are not working return to work. We need it so that American families can keep a roof over their heads, keep the lights on, keep gas in the car, and keep food on the table

We need leadership, or we need a general strike!

Happy Labor Day my brothers and sisters, lets due the right thing!

Strike and Unite!

2020.09.07

Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, a great national holiday, a day to celebrate the American worker, to celebrate the ordinary citizen.

This day is meant to honor laborers, it is a day to honor work. It is meant to be a day of rest, repose and respite.

I am not working and that is unusual, though it is the third year in a row, so it may be that this is becoming a norm.

Prior to this time in my life, there were perhaps three or four Labor Days in the last twenty-five years, came and went where I has the day off. I cannot recall when, or what I did.

I spent most of my life working in the hospitality sector. There are many restaurants that close, giving their staff the day off, but there are many others who see this as an opportunity to “make hay,” as they say, never mind the lives of the staff whose labor the business depends on.

Forget about them, do not honor them, squeeze out a little more profit if you can.

The last restaurant I worked in, they were open on Labor Day, they are open today. It will see ten maybe twelve thousand dollars in revenue, double the haul for an ordinary Monday. It will busy, all hands on deck, there will be forty staff members toiling away; cooking, serving, cleaning.

The owners will promote the experience to the staff as an opportunity for binding, and team cohesion, I only see bondage in it.

Like most restaurants, that establishment sees ten percent profit or less on average, and the owners will not flinch at the prospect of ruining the holiday for forty people, to put about a thousand dollars in the bank.

They will pretend that the staff should be happy to work, on such a busy day, happy…to earn a little extra money…never mind having the opportunity to relax and reflect with family and friends

This is Labor Day in America, and many people are working, far too many people. Though, it is virtually guaranteed that the bankers, the office managers, and the whole white collar world have taken this day for themselves, while paying themselves too.

Well paid, well rested managers, and owners…I guess the world needs more of those, and while they are relaxing someone needs to be on task to pour their coffee, to serve their brunch to fuel their frolicking.

Happy Labor Day, you laborers!

Strike and Unite!
2019.09.02
Given 1st – 2016.09.05

Observation – September 3rd, 2018, Monday

Observation
I listen to a car roll by outside my open window
The sound of traffic is low, I have not noticed any busses
There is a beeping like an alarm going off at the nursing home across the street
Or of a van backing up, but it has been going off for hours
It is Labor Day today and the city is still sleeping

Summer is coming to an end

It promises to be warm today, not hot, the breeze is cool and dry
Kitty is running from window to window, chortling in her brisk meow
There is something happening outside
A born squirrel, or a chip monk in the tree
They vanish, and she grows quiet

Labor Day

It is Labor Day, a great national holiday, a day to celebrate the American worker, to celebrate the ordinary citizen.

This day is meant to honor laborers, it is a day to honor work, it is meant to be a day of rest, repose and respite.

I am not working, and that is unusual, though it is the second year in a row.

Prior to this time in my life perhaps three or four Labor Days had passed in the last twenty years, on which I have enjoyed the day off. I cannot recall when, or what I did.

I spent most of my life working in the hospitality sector. There are many restaurants that close, and give their staff the day off, but there are many others who see this as an opportunity to “make hay,” as they say, never mind the lives of the staff whose labor the business depends upon.

Forget about them, do not honor them, squeeze a little more profit out of a day.

The last restaurant I worked in, they were open on Labor Day, they are open today. It will see ten maybe twelve thousand dollars in revenue, double the haul for an ordinary Monday. It will busy, all hands on deck, there will be forty staff members toiling away; cooking serving, cleaning.

Like most restaurants, that establishment sees ten percent profit or less on average, and the owners will not flinch at the prospect of ruining the holiday for forty people, to put about a thousand dollars in profits in the bank.

They will pretend that the staff should be happy to work, on such a busy day, happy…to earn a little extra money…never mind having the opportunity to relax and reflect with family and friends

It is Labor Day in America, and many people are working. Though, it is virtually guaranteed that the bankers, the office managers, and the whole white collar world have taken this day for themselves, paying themselves for their holiday as well.

Well paid, well rested managers, and owners…I guess the world needs more of those, and while they are relaxing someone needs to be on task to pour their coffee, to serve their brunch and fuel their frolicking.

Happy Labor Day, you laborers!

Unite!
2018.09.03
Given 1st – 2016.09.05

Labor Day

It is Labor Day, a national holiday, a day to celebrate the American worker, the ordinary citizen.

 

This day is meant to honor laborers, it is a day to honor work, it should be a day of rest, repose, respite.

 

I am not working, and that is unusual.

 

Perhaps one or two Labor Days have passed in the last ten years, on which I have enjoyed the day off. I cannot recall when, or what I did.

 

I spent most of my life working in the hospitality sector. There are many restaurants that close, and give their staff the day off There are many who see this as an opportunity to “make hay,” as they say, never mind the lives of the staff whose labor the business depends upon.

 

Forget about them, squeeze a little more profit out of a day.

 

The last restaurant I worked in, they were open on Labor Day, they are open today. It will see ten maybe twelve thousand dollars in revenue, double the haul for an ordinary Monday. It is busy, all hands on deck, there will be forty staff members toiling away.

 

Like most restaurants, that establishment sees ten percent profit or less on average, and the owners do not flinch at the prospect of ruining the holiday for forty people, to put a mere thousand dollars in the bank.

 

It is Labor Day in America, and many people are working. Though, it is virtually guaranteed that the bankers, the office managers, and the whole white collar world have taken this day for themselves, and paid themselves for it as well.

 

Well paid, well rested managers, and owners…I guess the world needs more of those, and someone needs to be on task to pour their coffee, to serve their brunch, and fuel their frolicking holiday.

 

Happy Labor Day, you laborers!

 

Unite!

 

2017.09.04

Given 1st – 2016.09.05