Happy(?) Labor Day

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This very Monday involves a Stateside national holiday known as Labor Day. Once-upon-a-time, it represented management’s respect for the very laborers who, in turning in each honest day’s work, had become the collective heart and backbone of a vibrant society.

Alas, as is true with most holidays, these days, commercialization, OR bastardization, OR whatever we choose to call it, has oft reduced an event, such as Labor Day, into booze fueled, mindless revelry.

Seeking such a state of mind is fully understandable, too, seeing how our hardcore, well-heeled conservative adversaries; i.e., the legislative, judicial and executive hack politicians and their corporate owners, have, from time immemorial, been doing their damnedest to collude; to totally bust up labor unions, keep wages low, benefits non-existent, and working conditions miserable. Worse yet, many a big boss’s notion of what constitutes a kick-ass retirement plan involves kicking out the asses of older workers; or even keeping them around to work ’em to death.

Yep, it’s easy to understand the reliance on Labor Day intoxicants. I mean what workers, in their right mind, would not find drinking themselves into a temporary state of obliviousness appealing; at times even necessary?

Let’s talk about my public school educator father for a moment.

Dad could not raise himself, his wife and two children out of poverty until the late 1960s when Michigan first allowed teachers to bargain collectively. Up to that point, we had rented a slumlord’s crawling with vermin hovel, complete with a coal furnace that came damn close to carbon monoxide gassing us all to death. As for the meals my Mom served up, they commonly consisted of unhealthy food; inclusive of gristly, cheap cuts of meat. Is it any wonder that our typical table talk was, “Please pass the salt shaker.”

Tho I did spend thirty of my work years within a no unions allowed, retail sales and management environment, fully capable of devolving into the literal sweatshop, it had been courtesy of my Dad’s wisdom, that I did learn how to hang tough as a labor union of one.

Even so, I could not always mitigate management abuse. Check out just three of the countless horror stories; representative of the type of crap they oft expected me to endure…

  • My big boss had ordered employees to model heavy, fall weight sweatshirts even when the store’s AC conked out during a stinkin’, in the dead of summer heatwave; all of which sent the store’s temps soaring to unbearable levels. Well, at least she hadn’t forced a pregnant employee to boil her fetus in its amniotic fluid.
  • An assistant manager violated company policy by punching out a dozen workers’ time cards just so he could key the biweekly payroll into the computer. In essence, he was forcing us to work for free. Every time I had pointed out that fact, he still flat out refused to offer any assurance that we’d ever get paid. I opted to take a walk. The two of us had a heated, stand-off at the back room’s service door, where he was mere seconds away from using his clenched fist to deck me; where I was oh so close to intentionally setting off a panic alarm to liberate myself from that slave driving bastard.
  • The management team got pissed off when I refused to interrupt my vacation plans to report to work to take an unexpected inventory. Their retribution was to reduce my 40 hour work week down to 4 and then, just to add insult to injury, an assistant manager tried to hit me up for a contribution to buy a birthday present for our big boss, the very one who had cut my hours. When I reminded the little boss of that; told her I couldn’t spare even one penny, she went totally berserk. In today’s vernacular, we’d call her a Karen. She assured me that I’d wind up in our big boss’s dog house; btw, that claim rapidly falling apart when, in hang tough mode, I requested a meeting with the birthday girl, herself.

This blog’s message to the masses…

Holidays, such as Labor Day, shall remain utterly meaningless until no nonsense, unionization becomes universal, spanning America and the entire globe. Hang tough! Even if you lose a shit job, alas, one can usually find another.

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Be humans Vaxxed OR Unvaxxed, We
can still shed and spread the batcrap
crazy contagious coronavirus which,
in turn, spawns new variants; which,
in turn, could, eventually, render the
available vaccines worthless; which,
in turn, will drag out the pandemic’s
needless suffering, illness and death!

HENCE… this easy as pie, cover your
nose and pie-hole/hole-up heads-up:

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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Advertisement

Disrepair

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When disunity, duplicity, incivility, irresponsibility overrule
Society falls into disrepair along these disappointing lines

Ugly voter suppression (f)laws enforce minority rule status
Empowers the power junkies who help themselves to more

Testy tyrants hose down their puny plots with testosterone
Sociopathic chickenhawks trigger no-end and no-win wars

Bullet blasting (not ballot casting) executes régime change
Perpetrated, perpetuated Big Lie lays waste to Democracy

Boneheaded, cultish, sycophantic insurrectionists run amok
Try, in 1 scant afternoon, to slay a 2½ century old Republic

Gun nuts shoot up school houses and houses of worship
Badged man’s bigotry / brutality targets people of color

Class warfare fattens the fat cats; flattens the proletariat
Welfare secured for the wealthy screws over truly needy

Non-living wage, no benefits, sweatshops harvest the poor
Human Resources Dept “Cafeterias” serve (up) hired hands

Nutritional and intellectual starvation drain body and mind
Every negative “ism” sows seeds of suspicion and hatred

Runaway greenhouse gasses render our Earth uninhabitable
A deadly, unbridled virus sucks all the air outta the “room”

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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Fanfare for the Common (________ please fill in the blank)

 

Headline Options: male, female, transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, agender, pangender, genderqueer, two-spirit, third gender, and all, none or a combination of these.

 

Throughout the United States and Canada, today is Labor Day. Spanning our world, we find a similar holiday… International Workers’ Day… which folks, typically, celebrate each May 1st.

Regardless of when / if we celebrate… Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man is appropriate music for this post.

Why a song about the common man?

Well… seeing how the wealthy get unduly mollycoddled, yearlong, that’s why I felt it vital to counteract this with a selection that’s working poor / middle class specific on Labor Day.

But, is not that song title simply, too damned sexist?

Yep, yer damned tootin’ it is! But, Copland did compose his masterpiece way back in the far more sexist days of 1942. I mean, what more could we expect… WELL… uh… other than his having scored (scored with) an empowering / rallying of the human spirit anthem. Hmm… all in all… not a bad trade off, right?

Anyway, this is why I now dedicate two versions of Fanfare… the symphonic blog topper AND rocked up blog ender… to the world of industrious, uncommon commoners. And let’s make no mistake about it… we are UNCOMMON in every positive connotation of that word. Be our status active worker, semiretired or retired… the vast majority of us know fully well what it’s like to toil away at low paying, bereft of benefits jobs… and far worse yet… oft while tirelessly offering our loyalty to unappreciative, tyrannical bosses.

GRANTED… the well heeled, high financiers do clutch (too tightly) at the purse-strings linked to commerce / job creation.

HOWEVER… were it not for the workers of the world, who REALLY DO MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN… the big biz high and mighty would, literally, be chowing down on their figurative dough… bread… LETTUCE!

On this Labor Day… be they our past or present bosses… to suitably honor the suits / remind ourselves of OUR importance… let’s offer up a rather nontraditional toast.

Before digging into our picnic / dining room table salad bowls, let’s hoist our salad dressing bottles / cruets skyward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Down in the Dumps Labor Day – (1 Quick Limerick #093)

 

What’s there to “celebrate” on Labor Day?
When union busting denies us our say,
When mucked up workplace backdrops,
Involve slave-driven sweatshops,
NO contracts / pensions, NO living-wage pay.