As Labor Day approaches, let’s remember this is a day to celebrate working men and women. If only the unemployment rate wasn’t so high, it would truly be a great holiday this year.
I listened to some Americans speak last week at the “Jobs, Justice and the American Dream” symposium sponsored by the AFL-CIO. Devon Lomax, a member of the Painers and Allied Trades District Council 9 in New York, said he has not worked for more than one year. He also spoke of a colleague who lost his home and had to panhandle in the subway to make ends meet.
Kathleen Hofmann, a music teacher in Cincinnati, said more and more of the kids in the school are becoming homeless because their parents are unemployed. The teachers have stepped in, buying the kids lunches and trying to help out their families. But the teachers remain under attack from Republican Gov. John Kasich who wants to take away many of the rights that public servants have in Ohio.
Hofmann and Lomax were frustrated that our elected lawmakers seem to be doing nothing to help Americans find jobs. I’m frustrated and angry as well that the issue of job creation is not a priority at all in Washington.
I hope that this Labor Day, our elected lawmakers pause to think about the meaning of this holiday. Millions of Americans are without jobs. Let’s put them back to work and get this economy moving again so that Labor Day 2012 is a much happier occasion.