I’m sure there have been many fine articles and tributes written about Labor Day since it was signed into law as a National Holiday back in 1887.
In the beginnings, Labor Day was celebrated as a day of acknowledging the achievements of the general workers of the United States. What I continue to believe, is that too many of the rank and file workers are not acknowledged and rewarded for the good work that they provide. There seems to be more and more of the “us” against “them” mentality within the public and private sector. Because of this, so many of the younger workers that are filling positions that are being vacated by the retirees, seem to be already programed to believe that they will not be rewarded for doing their best so they simply don’t do give their all. The business world as well as the public sector need to get back to the basics of what is considered productive work from their employees and reward them accordingly. I have seen this happen many times here in Mason City over the years. I remember a person who is retired now who spent years doing little or nothing and continued to take a hefty salary. Now he draws a substantial retirement from the State. This is wrong! I also remember a woman who worked for a clinic in their accounting section who gave the company 150% of herself each and every day she worked there. Her retirement income would be considered on the National level in the zone of poverty. There is yet another person whom I have personally known for many years who has been so beaten down by management that she has a real problem with self-worth. It makes me so terribly sad because this woman is one of the most detail oriented people that I have ever known. Her problem solving abilities and accuracy in accounting is to be applauded yet she is near the bottom of her pay scale simply because she has been “convinced” by others that she’s not good enough.
So in closing, I tell you all that my thoughts about Labor Day and the personal tributes I make are to these quiet souls. They are the true the pillars of our country. Like shadows in the night, they are the magical “4th” shift cleaning crew that make everything better.