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The Morality Of Labor On Labor Day

Is it moral to work on Labor Day?

The Morality Of Labor On Labor Day
Industrial Workers of the World

We all know what Labor Day is. At least, those of us within the United States do. It's the first Monday in the month of September where we get out of classes, and don't show up to work. Well, some of us do work on Labor Day. Labor Day was founded to be a celebration of the American Worker, so why is it that if you work in a non-essential field (Such as a hospital, police station, armed forces, or other public service work) that you do not get the opportunity to attend this celebration? Why is it that the bereaved worker, abused by their superiors and treated with indignity is forced to work on the day that is supposed to celebrate their bravery and courage? Even if we are to be paid double time (Sometimes that only applies to full-time employees), why must those of us in non-essential fields work on a Federal holiday recognized by all major institutions?

It is unjust that this cruelty be inflicted upon us whenever we have the opportunity to make change in regards to that. If it is a federal holiday, then the businesses that employ us, and the corporations that control the means of production should be required to allow any worker who asks for the days that are Federal holidays off to be taken off. This is, once again, not including the fields that are essential to daily functions. This is mainly pertaining to a majority of minimum wage jobs that already treat their workers as if the workplace is a sweatshop and they are inconsequential labor that can be abused and pushed to the breaking point. These entry-level jobs that are essential only to make profit, rather than positively affect the public should be forced to recognize the Federal holiday to both full-time and part-time employees.

This divide has been considerable for some time, and is only growing as each generation passes on the torch to the next. The divide between a full-time employee, and a part-time employee is significantly different than one might realize. Part-time employees get almost none of the benefits, if any at all, compared to their full-time counterparts. While, in one company, an employee who stays for overtime might receive one and a half times the pay of their regular wage, a part-time employee will remain at the same wage they started at. This is not even accounting for the fact that the part-time employee has more of a chance to be pulled away from their job in order to make up for lost manpower in a field that they have almost no training in.

This does not just apply to the new employee, either. Even with seniority these massive differences in benefits and treatment are extreme. Generally the part-time employee is expected only to be there for a period of one year or less, as they either move on with their life, or decide to retire. This causes major decisions to be made regarding them that generally forces the part-time employee to take on either the more dangerous, or the less pleasurable jobs. Returning to the point of Labor Day it can be seen from this gap how the part-time employee may be treated in regards to this federal holiday, too. The instances where a part-time employee, or a full-time employee who is not yet amongst the senior members, being forced to work on holidays is outstanding in comparison to management, employees with seniority, and those who have the good graces of the management.

Going back to the question: Is it moral to have labor on labor day? I would say no. I do not believe it to be moral to force employees to work on a holiday that was pushed by the unions to be adopted. I do not believe it is moral to force an individual in a non-essential job such as retail or fast food to work in the bowels of the sweatshops that employee them for cheap, untrained labor. The millennial generation is seen by the old guard as being lazy, or privileged. While I do agree that the generation is privileged I do not believe it to be lazy. I believe it to have the votes and influence needed to actually shift policies around. If we were to vote as one, then our sheer numbers and outrage would ensure that non-essential workers are granted Labor Day off.

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