Every single day, millions of workers perform incredible juggling and high-wire acts to provide for their families, pay debts and strive for their goals. On this Labor Day, we’re thinking about what work means to us now as we continue to navigate the greatest upheaval in the way we work in generations.
The pandemic forced millions of us all around the world to “live” with our work, literally and figuratively, all at once, for months and years on end, often while also caring for children and aging parents. We had no choice but to re-evaluate our lives and draw firm boundaries around what we are and are not willing to sacrifice for a paycheck, and what we truly want for ourselves and our families. (Stolen Butter was born from this very idea.)
And yet, even knowing what those boundaries should be doesn’t mean we can always draw them, as millions more have no choice but to continue showing up to work at the expense of their physical and mental health, and our most precious resource, time.
For the last 2 ½ years, we collectively have been writing a new labor story, born from our shared struggle, that values our dignity, collective action and the idea of solidarity. We are now witnessing a realignment of labor unlike any since the Great Depression as unions make a remarkable comeback.
In fact, American support for labor unions is at a 50-year high following worker victories at large retailers and restaurant chains earlier this year. And unemployment is at historic lows after recovering from a bottom line-driven recession that continues to impact employers as they struggle to fill open positions.
So, keep it up. It’s working. Except for today. On this day, we wish you the rest, reflection and inspiration that you deserve. Happy Labor Day!About this image: “Skyscrapers” from the Movida Porteña series by Rachael Thompson; Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2007.