Say thanks to workers on Labor Day
Today is Labor Day. Perhaps some people, if not most, will celebrate it as another day off work. But, perhaps it’s time to reach back and thank those who labored and, yes, at times, perished in the pursuit of the American workers’ dream.
Thank the steelworker, who prepared the beams. Thank the ironworkers who laid the steel for the buildings we toil in daily, the food service worker who prepares your coffee each morning exactly the way you like it, the nurse in the emergency room who tended to the indigestion you received from gulping that coffee down too fast, and the nurses’ aide who assisted you to your vehicle.
Thank the receptionist or clerk in your office who answers and routes every phone call. Thank the information technology technician who connects all those wires to all those computers so the messages can be received. Thank the custodial staff for assuring the floor that the I.T. person had to crawl around on was clean. Thank the power company workers for making every attempt to make sure that your service is maintained with minimal disruptions. Thank the power plant operators firing the boilers to make the power that you use. Thank the truck drivers hauling the coal to the power plants. Thank the coal miners for traveling deep in the earth, risking their lives on a daily basis to produce the coal we need for the power we use.
Thank the grocery store clerk who stocks the shelves with the foods we have to stop and get coming home from our jobs. And, if you are fortunate enough to have a job that affords you the luxury of eating out, thank the wait staff for serving you. Thank the cooks or chefs who work endlessly to present their most desired creations. And, on this day off, remember to thank those who don’t have the day off while they care for our loved ones in extended care, thank those who are caring for our sick and maimed in our hospitals and our medical centers.
When you get home from that hard day at work, grab a beer, sit down in your barcalounger and thank your grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers and mothers. Because of their struggles on the plant floor, under the ground, in the electric steel furnace, in the coke ovens, high in the sky on steel beams, delivering your mail, your newspaper, protecting you and fighting fires, they made this country what it is today. Thank them for lifting up your standard of living. Thank them for the 40-hour workweek, a decent pension, and thank them for defending our country at home and abroad when we needed them.
Now, those are the reasons to celebrate Labor Day.
Barry L. Andrews
Editor’s note: Andrews is president of the Central Labor Council for Washington and Greene counties.