NEWS BLOG (WSAU) WSAU wasn’t invited to the Labor Day parade this year. We weren’t invited last year, or the year before that. The radio station of Pat Snyder, Rush Limbaugh, and Michael Savage may not be considered a friend of the working man. For good measure, our non-political sister stations, WIFC, WDEZ, WOZZ and WRIG weren’t invited either.
That’s not really the point of today’s blog.
I won’t try to spin the holiday into something it isn’t. Labor Day has its origins in the American labor movement. It started as union holiday, and to many it still is today. It’s one of the few us-versus-them holidays. You can almost imagine the factory manager a-hundred years ago saying “let those assembly line workers have their day—we’ll raise the production quota tomorrow when they get back.”
But when a holiday has its insiders and outsiders, it’s condemned to be a small holiday. Imagine how much smaller Christmas would be if only the religious took part. I, for one, am glad more people than just the faithful exchange gifts and celebrate with Santa and Rudolph. It leaves the door open for some to contemplate the true meaning of the holiday, although certainly some never well. It would be a much smaller holiday. The jelly-beans and Easter egg crowd seem to celebrate Easter, although with a different meaning, than church-goers. A few will search for deeper meaning.
Labor Day is becoming small. As the ranks of unions continue to grow smaller, you’ll find fewer and fewer union laborers marching in parades. Maybe people who work at trades that used to be union-dominated are close-cousins. But the simple fact is that fewer people readily identify with the labor movement. Will this holiday embrace the labor of others? The unaffiliated? Those who work at a desk instead of a factor? Or will certain people simply not be invited to participate?
For all who work for a living, happy Labor Day.