JAM SESSION: Labor Day
Jam session is an opinion forum offering commentary on issues from a group of Plymouth residents. It appears on the Forum pages of the Weekend edition of the CMO.
The journal asks the group a question each week, and participants choose whether or not to comment. This column is designed to bring the voices of knowledgeable residents into the Forum page to address issues, one at a time.
Participants cross the local political spectrum and live across the city. Some are current or past Town Meeting representatives, and all are active in the community. We hope that their diverse views will encourage discussion of the issues facing Plymouth.
Question of the week
Labor Day has been a national holiday since 1894. What can we learn from its historical roots and apply to our world as we know it today? Other than the end of summer, how important does or should Labor Day be to us?
Labor Day is a time to reflect and appreciate all the workers who render the goods and services that make our lives so easy. Labor Day is a tribute to American unions, who fought for safe working conditions, an eight-hour work day, higher wages and other demands that workers today take for granted . Today, these protections are not strong enough. Too many workers, both nationals and foreigners, do not earn a living wage. While we’re enjoying a nice day at the beach or shopping for the holidays, minimum wage workers work in retail establishments with no fringe benefits. Often they are the recipients of food stamps and Medicaid. Some farm workers are not even paid minimum wage.
Labor Day is even more important today. Thanks to all the workers.
Pat Adelmann has been a resident of Plymouth since 1977 and is a mother of five Plymouth Public School graduates, a proud grandmother of 12 children, a former school committee member and a former town hall representative.
Labor Day is a “holiday” that I think we could do without. Labor Day is actually a white men’s union holiday founded in 1894. African Americans, Native Americans, Chinese, recent European immigrants did not enjoy it as much until the late 1900s.
Maybe there are, but I don’t know of anyone who actually celebrates Labor Day for the good the Labor Party has done in terms of ending sweatshops, child labor and the like. As for me, I guess I’ll be working on cleaning and organizing my basement and garage on Labor Day.
Labor Day is a bit like how most people don’t celebrate Christ at Christmas, Christ at Easter, freedom on July 4th, racial equality and unity on Martin Luther King Jr. ; sad to say that few people really think of those who sacrificed themselves for us on Memorial and Veterans Day.
Thanksgiving, “Men [Pilgrims]fired guns, competed in races and drank alcohol, struggling to speak broken English and wampanoag. It was a rather messy affair. I guess we still do somehow.
Did any of you know that there is currently a National Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Day? We’re having fun with that one!
Jay Beauregard, born and raised in Plymouth, served four years in the Marine Corps and worked for 40 years at a local company. He is a libertarian who served three terms as a representative of the municipal assembly of the enclosure 6.
The United States is a remarkable country. Despite the fact that we are experiencing deadly fallout from anti-mask people who oppose masking simply because they think they should because of their political beliefs, one thing is for sure: we can all enjoy it. huge contribution over the past 18 months from frontline medical workers, police and firefighters, and others in contact with the public in supermarkets and elsewhere. They, along with all of our armed forces, are the “workers” who move America forward, and this is one of the times we should thank them for all they do for all of us!
A resident of Plymouth for over 40 years, Jeff Berger is the founder and owner of JMB Communications / websitethatworkusa.com and Everythingsxm.com as well as the North East Ambassador for SkyMed International, www.skymed.com/jmb. He is a past chairman of the Plymouth Nuclear Questions Committee and its Cable Advisory Committee.
Labor Day is supposed to show respect to American workers. I remember the flags and the parades that showed this respect. Yet, over the course of those many years, that feeling has faded and now simply means the end of summer and the start of a new school year. When you erase history and tradition, you end up with a very barren, soulless nation.
Karen Buechs was a Municipal Assembly Representative and Ward 7 President. She has served on the Manomet Steering Committee, Manomet Village Common Inc., the Capital Expenditure Committee, and the Income Ideas Task Force. She has also been a member of the Charter Commission and a member of three Charter review committees. Karen has been a resident of Plymouth for 46 years.
John and Yoko made a song, said that a working class hero is something to be. Although the lyrics are a bit disturbing, about proletariats trying to do it while being continuously suppressed, it’s a saying I’ve at least always been proud of and relied on. It’s a good verse to sing when you’re working and you’ve had enough.
Labor Day is a big holiday for us working class heroes. We have a day off to celebrate, if we want to. As we get older we either slow down or can’t enjoy that old-fashioned youthful entertainment due to health issues, so for many it’s a day to celebrate work by committing in the same way because it is. is what we do and something to do.
Regardless, it’s a good vacation. It has been around for a very long time. Perhaps historically part of a labor movement that ultimately raised the working class to standards above the inhuman, Labor Day celebrates our evolution towards a predominantly civilized society.
Randy Parker is a land surveyor and owner of Land Management Systems in Plymouth. He has served on the town hall and a number of committees over the years and remains a director of the Churchill Landing Association in Manomet.
The historical roots are interesting: a quick internet search gives a good overview of the history of Labor Day. Working conditions in the 1880s were quite appalling, with long working hours, low wages, physically hazardous jobs, and widespread use of child labor. Society was awakening to this reality and the process of improving these conditions, which spanned several decades, began, mainly led by unions and progressive women’s groups. He started a public celebration of the value of men’s and women’s work, with parades and a day off. Labor Day could have been May 1, International Labor Day, but people wanted a strictly American celebration, which coincidentally came to mean the end of summer! Early September ends well with Memorial Day. But let’s not forget the roots: recognizing the value of work and promoting humane working conditions. Have a good three day weekend!
David Peck is the retired director of facilities planning at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is Chairman of the Plymouth Building Committee and Vice Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a representative at the municipal assembly of district 4.
Labor Day should remind the last generation of what it took to make a living in the 1900s and how this country was built on the backs of their parents and grandparents. Hopefully they won’t soon think that unemployment over 300 a week is the norm!
Roger Silva is a five-term former elected representative of Plymouth who began public service as an elected member of the Town Hall. He has served on the advisory and financial committee and on two charter commissions.