To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
21 messages

Happy Labor Day (US)

04 Sep 00 - 10:12 AM (#290713)
Subject: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: katlaughing

Thinking of Big Mick and InOBU, today, and everyone else who works hard for the rights of working people everywhere.

Watched a really good 1 ½ hour documentary on PBS on Joe Hill, last night. The only thing I didn't liek was they didn't have anyone singing his songs. They recited one or two and show the cover of the sheet music but that was it.

Anyway, hope you all have a good labor day, full of rest and camaradeie.


04 Sep 00 - 10:25 AM (#290720)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: katlaughing

Forgot to say you can read more about the documentary and Joe Hill, as well as hear some of his songs by going to the PBS Joe Hill page. Ironically, it seems to have been produced by a station in Utah and funded by our phone company Qwest, which used to be USWest. Utah was the only state in which some of Joe's ashes were not strewn.


04 Sep 00 - 10:28 AM (#290722)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Groucho Marxist (inactive)

And I'd like to wish a Happy Labour Day to my friends up in Canada.


04 Sep 00 - 10:30 AM (#290724)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: katlaughing

Sorry, I didn't know if it was a holiday in Canada or not. Thanks.

04 Sep 00 - 10:31 AM (#290725)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Groucho Marxist (inactive)

Up in Canada it's not "Labor" Day. It's "Labour" Day.


04 Sep 00 - 10:34 AM (#290727)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Groucho Marxist (inactive)


I haven't seen this PBS documentary, but I assume that the reason that none of Joe's ashes were strewn in Utah was because it was Utah that framed and executed him back in 1915.


04 Sep 00 - 10:37 AM (#290731)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Giac

"Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living."

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, 1910

04 Sep 00 - 10:47 AM (#290734)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: katlaughing

Yes, that was why, Groucho, and if you'll notice throughout most of my postings I do spell it Labour. I didn't in this thread as I was speaking about the US holiday until you told us it was also in Canada. Thanks.

At the very end, Joe Hill even made a joke about his impending death, saying, in a letter to a friend that he'd liked to be taken across the Wyoming border, only 100 miles from where he was in Utah, because "I don't want to be caught dead in Utah."

04 Sep 00 - 10:57 AM (#290740)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: bflat

The holiday honoring working people is also observed in Puerto Rico. New research by Grace-Ellen McCrann of the New Jersey Historical Society places Matthew Mcguire as the founder of Labor Day. He led a strike in Brooklyn for a shorter work week. He organized a huge parade in Manhattan for what was termed "Labor Day" on Tuesday September 5, 1882. 10,000 to 25,000 participants were attracted to the parade. He and his wife rode in the first carriage with Henry Ward Beecher the abolitionist preacher. Apparantly Maguire was a Marxist and there was unrest and blacklisting even among union organizers. There are a number of newspaper articles of the time that support Matthew Maguire as the author of Labor Day. Unfortunately Peter McGuire claimed to be the founder in 1897, three years after President Cleveland made it a national holiday and five years after the parade. Needless to say the debate continues.


04 Sep 00 - 12:11 PM (#290788)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Dave Swan

Thanks to the folks who fought, and those who continue to fight, for the right to organize, to bargain collectively, to be treated fairly, and be provided a safe workplace.

I am indebted to them.


04 Sep 00 - 12:20 PM (#290792)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: catspaw49

Thanks for the good thoughts kat.....and El Swanno, you have said it all.


04 Sep 00 - 12:53 PM (#290804)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Biskit

Thank you so much for the link Kat,I've sung of him often, (ala Joan Baez)But this is the first chance I've had to get some real background. Peace -Biskit-

04 Sep 00 - 01:13 PM (#290819)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: katlaughing

Thanks, fallahs...I just wish there was much more of a union presence in Wyoming and that so-called "right-to-work" laws would be abolished; here they are just an excuse for no job security, low wages, and a mass exodus of young adults every year.


04 Sep 00 - 01:55 PM (#290844)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: katlaughing

oops, that was supposed to be "fellahs" **BG**

04 Sep 00 - 01:57 PM (#290847)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Little Hawk

Little Hawk, here in Canada, would like to wish all the Mudcatters a very fine and contemplative Labour Day. Never forget how hard ordinary workers had to struggle to secure basic human rights in the workplace, and how many died in that struggle. It's not over yet...most of the 3rd World is still in economic slavery so we can fill our ugly shopping malls with cheap stuff that we don't actually need.

May you all be well and happy. May Mbo get to hear all the songs he knows and loves. May Spaw finally get that industrial weight shipment of Beano from the mail order house. :-)

By the way, my dad, who is the world's ultimate workaholic (having been his own boss since the mid-60's), is of course WORKING today. He can't figure why the other businessmen aren't in their offices when he calls. "Where the hell is everybody?" he mutters to himself. The only day my dad takes off is Christmas. He is now doing up some quotations and correspondence.

This goes a long way toward explaining my moderate laziness and contemplative spiritual lifestyle...and the fact that I would rather sing than fight.



04 Sep 00 - 02:27 PM (#290866)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Big Mick

Remember, my friends, there are hero's all around you. She has two jobs and no health insurance for the kids she is trying to give a fair start in life. He is, against the advice of friends and family, struggling to bring collective bargaining to his workplace despite the threats of the paid consultant. They are the young adults who don't know what the solution is, but they know something is wrong the way it is. And they are willing to take a chance on justice. Remember that the rights we have didn't come from Heaven, they were paid for with the blood, sweat and tears of your Grandparents, Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, and Sisters. Your children's future depends on what you do to protect and enhance the protections provided by those who have gone before. On Labo(u)r Day, and every day, examine the legacy you want to leave them. And act accordingly. They count on you for that.

All the best,


04 Sep 00 - 09:07 PM (#291071)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: northfolk/al cholger

Greetings All,

Labor day in Detroit was a mixture of feelings...for the first time the parade started at the foot of Woodward and marched the opposite direction.

It was windy, and cold. Displays and information tables were impossible to maintain...and participation seemed to be down.

The real enthusiasm during the day came from the Labor for Nader people, who were visible everywhere...

The rest of the activities were in disarray.Al Gore was a no show, Lieberman was there...

I had the privilege of introducing Ralph Nader to a packed auditorium...

and then the sun broke through... Had to leave early, so that my family could get back on the road home...and so I came to my friends at mudcat to share the end of a fine day...

follow Big Mick's sage advice...introduce your children, grandchildren to this movement, that has been so good to all...

I took pictures today of my son Nathan, with Mother Jones, Walter Reuther, and Cesar Chavez, all parade puppets...and Jim was just recently elected as recording Sec. of his MEA local union

I type here, beaming with pride.

Happy Labor Day....

04 Sep 00 - 09:24 PM (#291088)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Mooh

Happy Labour Day everyone!

I have never worked this holiday in my life, in spite of many opportunities to be paid handsomely for the act. I spend it with family. Even when I earned my keep as a full-time union representative for a few years (hospitals, nursing homes, municipalities etc...) I didn't take calls on Labour Day.

In Ontario, we have a Tory government hellbent for union busting. Pray for us as we fight the good fight.

In Solidarity,


04 Sep 00 - 09:25 PM (#291090)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Mbo

There are people in this country,
Who work hard every day
Not for fame or fortune do they strive,
But the fruits of their labor,
Are worth more than their pay
And it's time a few of them were recognized

Hello Detroit Auto Workers!
And I thank you for your time,
You work a forty hour week for a livin',
Just to send it on down the line,
Hello Pittsburg Steel Mill Workers
And I thank you for your time,
You work a forty hour week for a livin',
Just to send it on down the line,

This is for the one who swings the hammer,
Drivin' home the nails,
For the one who's behind the counter,
Ringin' up the sales,
For the one who fights the fire,
The one who brings the mail,
For everyone who works behind the scenes,

You can see them every mornin',
In the factories and the fields,
In the City streets and the quiet country towns,
Workin' together, like spokes inside a wheel,
They keep this country turnin' around

Hello Kansas Wheat field farmers,
And I thank you for your time,
You work a forty hour week for a livin',
Just to send it on down the line,
Hello West Virginia coal miners,
And I thank you for your time,
You work a forty hour week for a livin',
Just to send it on down the line,

This is for the one who drives the big rigs,
Up and down the road,
For the one out in the warehouse,
Bringin' in the load,
For the waitress, the mechanic, the policeman on patrol,
For everyone who works behind the scenes,
With a spirit you can't replace with no machine

Hello America
Let me thank you for your time

And Canada too!


05 Sep 00 - 12:46 AM (#291192)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: katlaughing

Wonderful, Mbo, thank you!

Mooh, that is fantastic! What a day and congrats on your son, too!

Beautiful words all...solidarity in all places...


05 Sep 00 - 02:34 AM (#291210)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
From: Amergin

Preamble to IWW Constitution The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth.

We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever-growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.

These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.

Instead of the conservative motto, "A fair day's wage for a fair day's work," we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, "Abolition of the wage system."

It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.

Don't Mourn, Organise!