Labor Day was created to celebrate the American working stiffs. These are the people who are the backbone of our labor pool. They are generally not the highest paid people in the labor pool. Yet, the highest earners are the ones who get the day off.
Accountants, doctors working in private practices, professors, economists, techies, lawyers, bankers, dentists, these are the workers who can go to the beach, have backyard cookouts, go visit friends or family. They can go hike in the woods, go to Walt Disney World, or Busch Gardens, or the movies, or out to a nice restaurant for a meal.
If, God forbid, something horrible happens and someone needs an ER visit, they will be attended by doctors and nurses, who are probably in the bottom part of the medical income food chain.
The people serving, waiting on those lucky stiffs, cooking their food, making their lattes, tending to their ills and injuries, ringing and packing their groceries, selling them books or clothing in retail establishments are the folks who should be celebrated and thanked. The celebration and gratitude is usually not forthcoming.
Not every employer pays their hourly employees time and a half on this day that is meant to celebrate their workers. Walmart never pays employees time and a half for any holiday. Time and a half is saved for those who work over forty hours a week. Those labor hour numbers are strictly policed. I used to work in a Walmart; I’ve seen it in practice.
I’m lucky enough to work for a company that does pay time and a half. Barnes & Noble did. Coffee People did. Publix did. Shit, I think even Panera Bread did, and that’s one crappy company to work for.
I’m not writing this to garner sympathy, or even bitch. I’m just pointing out that the very workers who are supposed to be celebrated are often not appreciated and are often laboring on Labor Day.