Brothers and Sisters of the IAM Midwest Territory,
While you’re enjoying this long weekend in commemoration of Labor Day, do you mind granting me one favor?
Before you and the family head out on that last road trip of the summer… Or perhaps while taking in all the sights and sounds of the local parade… Maybe after all those delicious hotdogs are off the grill and you and the family are at the picnic table just about ready to dive in…
Join me in taking a few minutes to say “thank you.”
Thank you to all those in which this day was intended to celebrate.
Thank you to all those whose contributions have no doubt played a vital role in the freedoms and liberties many of us so effortlessly enjoy: weekends, 8-hour work days, health insurance, retirement benefits, paid sick days, the end of child labor, etc.
Thank you to the American labor movement.
While the American worker and our families have quite the road ahead until we can say we’ve achieved economic “justice and equality for all.” (Across the country, Americans are working longer hours for less money and fewer benefits, despite being more productive than ever. Many are finding it more and more difficult to get by and provide for their families, no matter how hard they work. All the while, a handful of CEOs and those who are already rich have seen their salaries and wealth skyrocket.)
Today is a day to honor and to remember.
Enjoy your much-deserved holiday, but let’s not forget… the fight goes on.
Working families must continue to stand in solidarity.
Justice and fairness in the workplace is a freedom rarely given. It’s fought for.
On this Labor Day, we must pledge to continue to fight.
We must educate our children and friends about this day. Teach them that today is about more than just vacations, parades and hot dogs.
It’s about acknowledging the significant role of labor unions in our nation’s history.
It’s about recognizing our past and fighting like hell for our future.
It’s about your right to a good job and the ability to provide for you and your family.
It’s about your right to join a union.
Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day.
Philip J. Gruber
IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President