Labor Pains

So as we slip up on another Labor Day, signaling the end of another summer–when parents breathe a sigh of relief and kids lament their dwindling days of freedom.  Meanwhile, most of America’s workforce will probably be laboring on Labor Day.  How fitting, right?

Read an article in Time magazine here on the web, talking about how we can’t really afford to extend our vacation days here in America.  You know, because though Belgium guarantees 30 vacation days a year, they’ve got higher unemployment.  So, you know.

Except, really, do they?  Is that based on our official or unofficial unemployment numbers?  

Gawd, who knows.

At the same time, we’re seeing thousands of fast food workers hitting the street, finally having reached the point they can’t survive any longer without a real discussion about wages in this country.

I love how, when confronted with the fact that with the proliferation of low-wage part time jobs in the service sector, be it in retail or food service, there are those who say, “well, then just get another job.”

Small problem.  It requires them to be willing to work together.  You have to be able to leave one to go to the other.  They can’t be in conflict with one another.  Except that’s the other lovely thing about many of these modern employers.  They only schedule you part time, but they want you to be available all the time.

What do you do when your employer, the one that refuses to allow enough flexibility to manage another job, or school, or other responsibilities?  That’s a good fucking question.

I know what the right wing’s answer is.  “You just shut the fuck up, pretend you like it, and squeal appreciatively when we tell you to.”

Yeah… that doesn’t work for me.