Why do we celebrate Labor Day, historical significance or modern day celebration? Labor day originated as a celebration of unions, back in the late1800’s. Now, the first Monday in September is more about back to school, end of summer and sales. Union membership was at a record low in 2017 – 10.7% of the working population. More than 50 years ago, one in 3 workers were unionized. With so few people in unions today and union history of excluding women and minorities, is it time for 136 year old labor day to retire? Is this just a minor thing? Who wants to make a big deal about it? Can we take away a holiday? Can we replace it?
Could we aspire to an ERA day? The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1923; yet 95 years later, there are not 38 states in agreement to pass this amendment to the constitution to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. Currently, there are 13 holdout states (see diagram) and Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota legislators voted to revoke their previous ratifications. Efforts failed this year, 2018, in Virginia, Arizona and Florida. The last census showed women are 50.8% of the US population. Yet we have holiday from that celebrates 10.7 percent of the population’s membership in an organization with a history of excluding women and minorities? This Labor Day, ask yourself, is Labor Day time off or times up?