Monday, September 6, 2010
I can't let today pass without a few words about Labor Day...
Labor Day in America is not just the symbolic end to summer and the last chance to wear white shoes. It is a real holiday instituted to pay tribute to the American worker.
Most of today's workers are far more beleagured than ever before. If one works for a public company as I do, then one knows the sacrifices that are being made in the offices of today. Most companies are worshipping at the altar of the bottom line. My company, which 15 years ago use to provde such amenities to its workers as an on-site physician and dry cleaning service, has just taken away our personal printers from our desks. We now share one printer for 45 people in my department. Many of my co-workers have been forced to train employees from other countries with the knowledge that when the training ends, their trainees will have their jobs. The ax falls alot these days and we've had to say goodbye to many friends.
Raises are non-existent and although we are extremely lucky to have jobs in this terrible economy, our paychecks must stretch more and more. No one in my office has taken a vacation, bought a car, or worn a new outfit in a long, long time. I hear my co-workers on the phone with mortgage companies, banks, creditors, car repair shops trying to renegotiate their lives. I hear the fear in their voices, their worry about their futures, their concern for their children's lives.
So today, we have one lovely holiday to continue our rest, spend time with friends and families, enjoy a final barbequed meal. I also hope we raise a glass and toast the American worker, the Monday Mavericks - those faithful, hard working souls without CEO lifetime guarantees, who everyday manage to stay calm and carry on as they hope for better days ahead.