Western Courier

Don’t forget the Labor movements

Ryan Zurek, Opinions Editor

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Yesterday was May 1, a day that is celebrated in most of the rest of the world as the International Workers Day, a holiday that seeks to commemorate the struggles of theLabor movement.

Although the United States does have a Labor Day, I find it slightly ironic that we don’t celebrate ours on the same day as the rest of the world, given that May 1, was specifically chosen to be near the anniversary of the Haymarket Riot. This event took place in Chicago, on May 4, 1886, after the Chicago Police killed labor protesters as they organized and demonstrated for an eight hour work day.

However, the fact that this holiday and its origin are constantly overlooked, ignored, and downright hidden by and from the American people is no accident. Most of the Labor movement goes untold in high school American history classes. We take for granted such things as the eight-hour workday, the banning of child labor, the five-day work week, minimum wage, health and safety regulations and countless other benefits. These did not appear out of nowhere. These rights were not generously granted to the American people by benevolent corporations. No, they were fought for and won by the working class.

Working class issues remain relevant today. We cannot sit idly by and watch wages go down while profits go up. Labor movements are still relevant. Even though we are at a University, and working towards a degree, we will still be workers. Not all labor is manual labor. It is important that we remember our history, and keep in mind the long struggle that brought us the things that we take for granted.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Don’t forget the Labor movements