Labor Day Holiday Message
Labor (verb, noun, or proper noun): Definitions includes, but not limited to:
- Expenditure of physical or mental effort especially when difficult or compulsory
- To suffer from distress or a disadvantage
Sound like a chamber professional's day?
Of course, there's "labor" and then there's "Labor." When the idea of a day celebrating and recognizing the American worker, the "labor" in Labor Day referred most to the organized, capital "L" meaning of the word. With only 13% of workers employed in union jobs, Americans have understandably turned the first Monday of September into a day for most of us who labor (not retail, entertainment, public safety, military, hospital, parenting) to take an end-of-summer day off. A good thing at the right time in the calendar. As I always say as we start a football season and ACCE program cycle - HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Below: A Labor Day memory for those with too much time on their hands:
My father was a proud "Kennedy Democrat" . . . a Buffalo lawyer/professor/advocate for everyone getting screwed. With a guy like Bob Fleming as my personal hero (always will be) I had what many conservative chamber execs would consider a harrowing upbringing!
One Saturday during my "tween" years, my Dad and I were doing errands and had to drop off some clothes at the cleaners. As we drove past the drycleaner a block away from the house, I asked why we always drove half-way across town with our clothes. He answered quickly. [Paraphrasing] "Because those guys are part of a chain that treats their workers like dirt. The job is hot and dangerous with lousy hours. They're in court accused of shorting paychecks and using illegal tactics to prevent a union. I won't go to that place, ever." Let's just say that statement had an impact on my choice of drycleaners.
Since that time, I've learned a lot more about how business and the employer-employee relationship works. I learned that boycotts can hurt the people you might want to help. I discovered that it's pretty hard to have employment without employers - and the survival of many (most) private-sector employers is very tenuous. I've changed, becoming aware and empathetic toward the people who create jobs and make payroll (like me). I still, however, can't be friendly or knowingly do business with an owner or boss who treats employees badly. Even in my most conservative days, as head of a manufacturers' association, I couldn't do it. Bob wouldn't let me.
Americans remain the most productive workforce in the world. It's not a Labor Day platitude; it's a fact. Remember that it will be our human resources that will craft the next great story of American resiliency. Certainly innovation, calculated investment and inspired leadership will be required, but labor -- "expenditure of physical and mental effort" -- by good people like your staff and your members' employees . . . will make the dreams of recovery a reality.
Welcome to all those who were previously members of the "MICK MET" email group and other ACCE members. See Fleming's "traditional" Quickie Holiday Message on the next posting.
"In This Together" is a commentary site for ACCE President Mick Fleming and those who work closely with ACCE. No real launch or announcement; we'll just begin.
New media sites like Linked In and TypePad are becoming endemic because they actually work. They make my few former broadcast emails seem pretty primitive. In the future, I'll be posting short messages on this narrowly-advertised "In This Together" blog, whenever the spirit moves me -- including holidays. Whenever YOU are moved to experience my razor-sharp wit (???), movingly poignant stories (??????), sage wisdom (??????????) or risky global travel advice (!) just click into this site. For those who are already Linked In or Facebooked, I'll "poke" you to check this blog. For the many who are not -- and the many more who never check the sites they've enrolled in -- I'll nudge you other ways.