As we wrap up the dog days of August, bringing another summer as well as swimming pools to a close, let’s remember Labor Day was established to recognize workers. It is on that day we should remember and be thankful that it was organized labor that brought the middle class lifestyle to this country and works to sustain it today. Despite recent declines in participation and status, labor unions still set the bar and significantly impact the lives of all workers and their families.
As I’ve shared before, I believe Wichita is an excellent example of the value of organized labor to the overall economy of the area. Their best local economy was when the aircraft industry and the Machinist Union were at their strongest. That is not surprising given there was much more disposable income to circulate in the community.
Until the American people better understand the connection between organized labor and the benefits to all workers and the middle class in general, I fear the path of decline will only continue. So, in the original spirit of this celebration, here is my salute to the men and women who are our educators, laborers skilled and unskilled, firefighters, law enforcement officers, postal workers, civil servants, and workers of all kinds. You certainly have my thanks and appreciation but also my hopes for a better future.