Hats off for your excellent Labor Day coverage. The lead story lamenting the public’s declining interest in celebrating the day itself was followed by Jerry Large’s column pointing out some impressive recent victories for working people, and by an Op-Ed by labor leader Jeff Johnson attempting to remind us why unions matter.
But the word “labor” itself inadequately connotes what is at stake nowadays for all women and men in workplaces of any kind. People deserve the assurance that they are respected, that their work really matters and that they are compensated in ways that enhance their dignity. It’s the dignity of work itself that is at stake in today’s globalized world. Large’s column celebrates victories for working people, including Seattle’s $15 an hour wage, paid sick leave and collective bargaining for drivers.
It isn’t well-known that in these and other recent struggles on behalf of workers, Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith leaders have joined community groups, organized labor, and workers in Western Washington in gaining these and other victories.
But with the dramatic rise in economic inequality, we have a long way to go for all who labor to gain a place at the table.
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The Rev. Dick Gillett, retired Episcopal priest, Seattle