Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day and Fair Trade - What Do They Have In Common?

Perfect sunny day - no excuse to labor outside!

Labor Day, the day we were meant to take off and rest. Over 120 years ago our country wanted to pay tribute to ordinary workers. It was during a time when factories were beginning to boom and labor organizations needed to stand up for themselves. It was a day designed to guarantee working men (and women) a day of rest. (which meant the rest of the year they were working their behinds off.) It is too bad that some stores and businesses are open but feel free to not patronize them and make a statement.

Fair Trade, has a varied world history that began for economic reasons so that goods could be traded more on the open market and get the money that was deserved. It has expanded from its original intent to include protection for workers, allowing unionization, no child /slave labor, and transparency. Fair Trade also includes treating then environment right. After all, if you pollute your environment, then your working and living conditions aren't very good.

What they have in common is the acknowledgment of ordinary workers that our country and world can not do without. That ordinary people deserve the basics in life - fair pay, good working conditions, regular unburdensome hours and a day off once in awhile. It is unfortunate that we have to regulate these conditions in light of abuse, but there in lies the human condition.

So on this Labor Day, think about what makes this great country tick, all the workers who are the skeleton of our very fabric. Remember that everything you have has a story and a person behind it. Take the day off yourself and do what you want to do, which could mean working out in the garden. That's where I'm headed.

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