On Monday, we celebrated Labor Day. For many of us, Labor Day is a signal for the ending of summer, the last long weekend until November, and back to school for thousands of Chicago Public School students (I loved all the pics that flooded my timeline). As pleasant and traditional as those things are, Labor Day is not just another long weekend. It is a time to pay tribute to the contributions of the American worker. The workers who through their sacrifice and sweat have built the strength and prosperity of our country.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance.” I believe that Dr. King was reminding us in his masterful oration that all work should be respected and honored.
Right now, in this country, all work is not respected and honored. All workers are not valued. Therefore, we educate, advocate, and rally to ensure that the workers who are responsible for the strength and prosperity of our country, who help us to maintain our standard of living, who are taking care of our children and elderly, can do so with dignity and respect.
Why is it so hard to convince lawmakers and business owners that everyone deserves a basic living wage, that no one should be working below minimum wage, and that everyone should have access to paid sick time to care for themselves, children, or loved ones? Why are we still fighting to protect workers from harassment and unsafe conditions in the workplace? Why must we continue to pass new legislation to fill loopholes corporations continue to find around the Equal Pay Act? These things seem so simple. So humane. So bi-partisan. Yet they are not.
Therefore, in honor of the American worker, we advocate and rally for the Fight for $15, One Fair Wage, Fair Scheduling, Paid Sick Time, Paid Family and Medical Leave, Paycheck Fairness, Increased Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Protections, Equal Pay, and Representation on Boards.
Until every working woman is given her just due, every day will be Labor Day at Women Employed.