US Labor Day and what we fail to learn or remember…

Though today in the US is celebrating Labor Day I always feel it is important to inform many people that are not aware, that though today is intended to recognize the efforts of the Labor Movement in the US and to celebrate workers power, it fails to recognize labor history in the US.

Some may be aware of May 1st as the International Workers Day, but that day became an international recognized date because of actions in the US, specifically in Chicago by corporate control of the state and city government in response to marches and protests for the 8 hour work day. Many in the US may also feel that May 1st is a day of marches in support of immigrant rights, but remember in the US that most people are immigrants or descendants of, and in fact the May 1st marches were to support the immigrant workers as companies intentionally sought to bring more immigrants in to the US to lower the cost for the wages of the workers, something companies still do today. Unfortunately the companies win in two ways first they are able to pay their workers today under the federal minimum wage and continue to violate work and safety standards set at the federal level. Whether a worker is documented or not, the laws of work apply to protect any worker, cause if we do not then we have a slave system, which if one recalls we had a civil war to answer whether to have slavery or not (for my more radical friends yes i know we are all slave of the wage). We are united together by our class, that is the working class, we do not own the means of production, but are demanded to work under horrible working conditions whether in the fields like those who pick the tomatoes  to the workers that slaughter the pork you eat

The AFL then (and still now) not supporters of the socialist/marxist/anarchist movements in the US decided to work with corporate America and recognize a different day for Labor, that is today the first Monday of September. Thought there are marches today it is not exactly a day where people celebrate the efforts of fallen brothers and sisters such as the martyrs of Haymarket in Chicago. There will be some unions that speak of this today, but today is not the day that the workers of the world come together, that is in fact May 1st. So enjoy the marches, enjoy your BBQ and day off from work, but remember the 8 hour work day was fought for on May 1st and when US citizens leave the US and ask workers from other countries when labor day is they will speak to the 1st of May not the 1st Monday of September.

So on this US Labor Day I continue to organize with May First/Peoples Link for the World Social Forum for a Free Palestine that takes place this November.

Modern Day Slavery

Origins of the International Workers’ Day

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