Our View: Labor Day, a celebration of the worker and Havasu’s chance to shine

September 3, 2018

For many families around the nation, Labor Day is little more than a last summer hurrah.

The real reason for the holiday — a federal recognition of working people around the nation — usually takes a back seat to good times on the last three-day weekend before fall weather sets in.

Of course, that’s good news for Lake Havasu City, because it means — especially in this prospering economy — that our lake will be full of vacationers taking advantage of the three-day weekend and spending their money here. And that means good things for the local economy. Indeed, in Havasu, Labor Day is a day for work.

On today’s front page, you’ll see profiles of Lake Havasu City residents who work in our thriving hospitality industry. These are folks who probably won’t get the day off today, because they’re so necessary to the machinations of our town’s success. That list includes obvious front-line workers, such as hotel staff, park rangers, and restaurant employees, but it also includes not-so-obvious employment sectors, such as retail workers, boat captains, police officers and firefighters, among others.

If you’re clocking in today, you’re in good company. It’s a sacrifice we mostly shouldn’t mind making. Havasu has carved out a successful industry of rest and relaxation, so we should take a lot of pride in the fact that America’s workers come here when they’re looking for a much-deserved break.

It probably wouldn’t have been possible a little over a century ago. Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894, as an attempt to appease worker unrest after federal troops killed striking railroad workers at the height of the Industrial Revolution. The holiday came amid numerous labor reforms, including safer working conditions, the right to organize and better pay.

Today, Labor Day is almost a day of thanksgiving for those reforms, a time to appreciate the American worker and reflect back on times when employees were merely considered cogs in a machine.

What a difference 124 years make.

If you’re lucky enough to get the day off, be sure to thank a worker today.

— Today’s News-Herald

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