Work is the reason for the season | Local company

For many Parkland residents, Labor Day means a longer weekend, trips, barbecues with friends, rest and relaxation to mark the unofficial end of summer.

But the American events that gave rise to the holidays were often violent, grossly unfair, and dangerous: child labor, unsafe work practices and environments, grueling 70-hour or more workweeks, and zero benefits.

According to the History Channel websiteguilds were not uncommon in colonial America—they were commercial organizations largely focused on their craft, rarely lobbying for more benefits or better working conditions.

The subsequent rise of the Industrial Revolution contributed to the development of the modern labor movement. Mining disasters, sweatshop fires, children dying from factory machinery, and riots in the streets between workers and corporations – the latter often aided by the government – ​​stain the fabric of the history of America, which is recognized by the communications director of the local carpenters’ union, Phil Davidson of the Mid-Regional Council of American Carpenters.

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“Labor Day is a big deal, we take it very seriously,” he said. “Our founder, the founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Peter McGuire, is considered one of the founders of Labor Day, which is a source of pride for the carpenters union.

“From the beginning, we have been directly connected to Labor Day and the origins of the labor movement and workers’ rights in this country, standing up for workers and ensuring that we are there with the fight for the eight hour day of work and all the other benefits that many of us now take for granted, rights and benefits that people had to fight for.

Davidson said that’s why his union is committed to participating in events throughout the Midwest — events like the Desloge Labor Day Picnic — to remember former workers who fought and sometimes are died for better bargaining power leading to better pay and better, safer working conditions.

He said that even though the country is politically divided, unions often unite Americans.

“We support prevailing wages, project collective agreements and policies that allow us to bargain collectively for members to ensure they receive the best wages, benefits and pension available to them. throughout the construction industry,” he said. “…It really comes down to the economics of carpenters and, you know, voting with our paychecks.”

Davidson pointed to a Gallup poll that showed unions have the the highest public approval rating they have had since 1965.

“I think the pandemic is probably one of the most powerful motivators behind this surge in popularity. Across the country, we’ve seen people quit their jobs because they felt like they weren’t getting the paycheck. , benefits and health care that they felt they deserved. And that’s what we’re looking for,” Davidson said.

“I think that’s why you see more and more people looking to join, especially with more high profile wins with Amazon and Starbucks, they realize they deserve more and they’re not going to work their cue only to be abused. .”

Sarah Haas is deputy editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or [email protected]

“Labor Day is a big deal, we take it very seriously. Our founder, the founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Peter McGuire, is recognized as one of the founders of Labor Day, which is a source of pride for the carpenters union. »

Phil Davidson, Carpenters Regional Council of Central America

Labor Day