Letters to the Editor

Labor day, when workers celebrate a day of leisure from work and an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

The origins of Labor Day have largely been forgotten. In 1913, President Taft separate labor’s work from commerce, dividing commerce and labor into two equal branches of government, labor focused on American workers.

Taft gave organized labor a seat at the presidential table, a monumental step, in the days when coal miners, steel workers, railroad workers, ditch diggers, worked six 10-hours days. Taft’s passage gave voice to those striving for workers rights for decades, some giving their lives to achieve a measure of safety in dangerous work. We can thank unions for implementing eight-hour days, overtime pay, sick leave, dental care for families and pensions to provide financial security in retirement, allowing elderly retirees independence and avoiding government handouts.

When labor had a voice in the U.S. as it did until latter part of the 20th century corporations gave thought before moving production to Third World countries.

President Carter was the last president to appointed a Labor Secretary F. Ray Marshall. From that day to this, no president has appointed a union leader to a cabinet-level position.

"Government can do a great deal to aid the settlement of labor disputes without allowing itself to be employed as an ally of either side. Its proper role in industrial strife is to encourage the process of mediation and conciliation." — President Eisenhower

Liam McGinley