Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy Labor Day

Unable to provide the proper link because of those internet access restrictions but there is an interesting article on the origins of Labor Day public holiday in America by Rupert Cornwell in his column Out of America in todays Independent on Sunday .

President Grover Cleveland fearing that the May 1st holiday may encourage the anarchists and radicals after the Haymarket Massacre decided to choose , September , the original workers day of the Knights of Labor as the official holiday .

However , Cornwell also mentions in his piece a New York Times report that productivity in the USA has risen 2% since 2003 but that the median hourly wage adjusted for inflation has fallen by 2% . Wages now account for a smaller share of the US economy than at any time since the war , while corporate profits are at a near record high . People are working harder and more efficiently for less .
Include the cuts in benefits and healthcare ( 16% of US population has no medical insurance ) means that the economic upswing that began in 2001 according to the Bush-ites , is the first since the war to produce no significant increase in wages for the workers .

1 in 3 in 1945 was a union member
1 in 4 in 1979 was a union member
1 in 8 in 2006 is a union member

Draw your own conclusions

Happy Labor Day , folks

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