It’s Labor Day – the last barbecue of summer, the ‘final’ summer sale on everything, and the traditional late evening travel crush. What if we reimagined this holiday as a day of national conversation on work and workers? #LetsTalkAboutWork!
You need not look further than the USA TODAY headline: “Labor Day by the Numbers: Americans Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Working” to realize we are spending more time @work and less time considering why. Here’s just a sampling of stats journalist Ashley May reported: 41% of workers did not take a single vacation day in 2015, 55% ended the year with unused vacation days, and 41% of employers require staff to work today, Labor Day.
Out of necessity we maintain a laser focus on our own career goals, spending most of the 365 days a year securing our future as best we can in an ever changing workplace. What if we just took one of those days to consider the workplace issues we face as part of a larger context?
The Labor Day holiday was originally conceived as “…a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
What better way to offer a tribute to the American worker than to engage in a national discussion that restores respect and considers the reality of today’s workplace?
Politicians will parade and hold forth at Labor Day gatherings, but will not solicit ideas, or listen to the voices of workers who don’t share their agenda.
Access to education and a right to work are fundamental American values. It’s how we define ourselves when asked ‘what do you do?’. Imagine the despair for those with no answer.
It’s time to reestablish the voice of the American worker and address both the barriers to workplace entry, and the challenges @work once you arrive.
Share your ideas @workthoughts.com #LetsTalkAboutWork!