To the editor:
After celebrating the Labor Day holiday, I realized it would be a good time to reiterate why we originally celebrated Labor Day.
We now look at it as the ending of summer, the beginning of football season, the last chance to go to the lake, or to have that barbecue with the family. There's nothing wrong with that. However, we should all understand the true history of the holiday and why we have it.
It was, and is, a tribute to the everyday working stiff. It was originated by unions to honor all those who work in jobs that have to be done, who live paycheck to paycheck, who struggle to have a roof over their head and food on the table, and sacrifice so their children could have a better life than theirs.
It is only natural that unions started this celebration. They have been the voice of the worker. They fought and won many worker rights we now take for granted: the eight-hour day, paid holidays, the two-day weekend, overtime pay, health insurance and retirement plans. It wasn't easy. People died to attain them. Companies fought hard to suppress them, as they still do (just look at Wal-Mart).
So on Labor Day I pay homage to those courageous unionists before me by saying I'm proud to be a union man because I'm one of those working stiffs. Thank you!