As Americans celebrate Labor Day with their families and friends, they should take a moment to think about the hard working union men and women who came before them and fought and even died for many of the things we have taken for granted such as the 40 hour week, sick days, paid vacations, health care, and retirement.
Unfortunately, most Americans today are working harder than ever -- longer hours, poorer conditions, two or more jobs -- but are barely able to make ends meet. Just like the workers in fast-food industry who staged a one-day strike last week to raise the minimum wage.
Meanwhile the rich continue to get richer.
Why? Because billionaires like the Koch brothers and the politicians who serve them continue to attempt to destroy democracy, gut public services, debilitate communities, and tear apart the laws that enable workers to collectively bargain.
There actually was a time in this country when individual workers could earn enough to support a family from a job in which they worked just 40 hours per week -- a job that also provided paid sick days, vacations, health insurance, and a pension. But that kind of employment is a thing of the past for too many U.S. workers.
Our country is now a nation of two classes -- the small cadre of the super rich and the rest of us, bus drivers, restaurant workers, telecom workers, firefighters, working families who are being unfairly blamed for the problems of our country.
It's time to stop the race to the bottom that has become so prevalent here and abroad. Working Americans have sacrificed too much already. Transit riders have paid with record fare increases and service cuts. Jobs are being shipped overseas.
This Labor Day, it's time to for all workers to come together to demand that Congress find ways to put more people to work and improve the lives of all Americans. It's time to make the American dream a reality again.