Has Labour Day lost its meaning?
Jokingly, there was a time when I celebrated Labour Day to honour the excruciating hours of labour that I endured to bring my first born into this world. She was born September 6, shortly after the Labour Day long weekend. Those days of crying, wailing and cussing have long been forgotten, and replaced with Labour Day long weekend sales. Advertisements from “Big Box” stores highlighting “Back-to-School” specials. Flyers convincing it’s viewer that the good deals are to be found within its store walls. So if Labour Day isn’t about me giving birth from Labour Day on, nor is it about store sales and specials, then what does Labour Day mean? Has Labour Day lost its meaning and why do we celebrate it?
This year is different than no other year. This year kids, my grandkids and even my daughter (a teacher) will not start the school year after the Labour Day long weekend, as any other year. I drive by schools on my way to work and see teachers and students picket in front of their schools standing up for what they believe in. Regardless of anyone’s point of view, I see them being given the opportunity to stand up for public education. Is this why we celebrate Labour Day? Is Labour Day a celebration of those victories and achievements gained from a time when employees had to fight their employers for fair wages and better working conditions, to be treated equally and fairly? Is this not what the public sector is fighting for today? Maybe those flyers and ads act as a blind pulling the wool over our eyes, so that we cannot see the real picture. Maybe this is why I like to think that Labour Day is a special day devoted to the time I brought my daughter into this world.
I cannot be certain as to whether Labour Day still holds meaning to people, but I am sure that I like where I am sitting in this world, in a big comfy office seat working for me, and my clients of course! I can pay tribute to the many workers who worked in solidarity for victories and shared achievements because without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.