Today is International Workers’ Day, a public holiday in many countries that aren’t the United States. In honor of this day, I took the day off work. I realize this is something of a luxury. One hundred years ago, workers wouldn’t have been able to take “vacation time” off. They also wouldn’t have had a work-free weekend like I just had. I have these things because labor unions fought to get them. Even today, some U.S. workers can’t take vacation time whenever they need it. In order to make ends meet, some people have to work two or three jobs, working far more than 40 hours a week. Some people can only get part-time work that doesn’t offer “benefits” like health insurance or paid time off. The time of unions and fighting for workers’ rights isn’t over. Workers are still exploited. Employers will still try to get away with as much as they can and give as little as possible. And many of the job benefits people in the U.S. enjoy and take for granted are a result of unions. So let’s all be thankful. And let’s all keep fighting for better wages, more time off, safer working conditions, health care for all, and other things we deserve and don’t get.
(If you think people don’t deserve these things…I really don’t have anything to say to you, so don’t bother leaving a comment.)