Do You Have to Work on Labor Day?

I was going to have today’s plight be about pregnant ladies, poking fun at the word “labor” in Labor Day, but I decided against it. I’ve used that joke for years, put in my head by radio dude Steve Dahl, but then I just didn’t like where that plight was going, ending up with “Do you know anyone pregnant on this Labor Day?” Maybe I’ll use it next year, but the more I was thinking about Labor Day and it’s reason for being, the more it also occurs to me that for those we are mostly celebrating, as the day is a holiday “that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers,” the workers are also those getting screwed by actually having the day off. Sure, it’s a supposed boom for the retail sector, but in the agreements I’ve read with many a union, Labor Day is a day that work is forbidden except in the cases saving life or property, or with permission by the union.┬áThe thing is, most union folks are paid by the hour, only when they work, so by actually forcing union people to take the day off they are actually being punished by getting one day less in pay, and if you want the math, the base rate for a Laborer in Chicago is about $36.30/hr, so by forcing a Laborer in Chicago to not work on Labor Day and to have a barbecue instead, that dude (or dudette for that matter) is losing about $290.04 in an 8-hour day, and that doesn’t even include all of the benefits paid to the union by the company he or she works for. Yup, by my calculation, Labor Day is actually screwing over most of the people we are supposed to be celebrating!

In the end, though, I’m happy with Labor Day, and the three day weekend it gives me, but I do remember some of my days in retail when I always thought it sucked because I had to work. Retail workers have to work and most of them probably don’t want to, and Laborers would rather work but can’t because the Union won’t let them, which leads me to today’s plight of: Do you have to work on Labor Day?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!