Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Labor Day - in reality

Labor Day is coming up soon - September 5th, in fact. Less than two weeks from now, many of us will have a 3-day weekend. I am looking forward to my upcoming 3-day weekend. In fact, K and I are going camping as I explained in my last post.

Imagine my reaction when I received a phone call telling me that I need to work on September 3rd.

No. I did not swear. I very calmly explained that I will not be working that day and they'll have to work something out. I will not be here. I'll be upstate in the woods - preferably out of cell phone range.

See, next week I am doing another woman's job because she is on vacation. She occasionally has to work on a Saturday because she works when production works and sometimes they are forced to work on a Saturday. (note: I work in a poultry-processing plant) Due to setbacks we've been having with some new equipment not working as it should, we are faced with birds that need to be processed as they are getting too old (and therefore too big - which is a problem as our equipment does not work well with larger than average birds) So... management is packing as many production hours in as they can to alleviate the problem and decided to run a shift next Saturday.

Now, management is working with me on this problem - as I normally don't have to work when production does - but it got me to thinking... What about the people who do work in production? What about all those folks who were planning on a 3-day weekend - for Labor Day of all reasons?!?

Yes. Labor day. The day set aside as a tribute to the contributions workers make throughout the year. Here is an excerpt from the US DOL website about Labor Day:

U.S. Department Of Labor - The History of Labor Day: "Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

'via Blog this'

So... at my workplace, the message is a little different: "We are giving you a day off for Labor Day to thank you for what you do but you'll have to work Saturday to make up for it." Um... yeah. Sounds like someone really doesn't quite comprehend the idea behind this federal holiday.

Yes. I understand the situation. I really do. What I don't understand is why they are not looking at other options: Such as running a shift this Saturday instead or selling some live birds, if need be. It has to be expensive to run a shift. Maybe selling off some of the excess birds would be the most economical choice. Besides... what about people who will be away over the weekend like I will be? What will happen to them? They'll get points on their record and they won't be paid for Monday if they don't show up on Saturday. If they happen to have too many points on their record, they'll be fired.

Happy Labor Day, folks! This is how we show you how much we appreciate you...

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