September 6, 2021

Labor Day

Craig Calcaterra, Cup of Coffee, September 6, 2021:

Have you seen the special jerseys and caps Major League Baseball has rolled out for today's Labor Day games? The ones — like the traditional Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, and Fourth of July uniforms — that you can buy at the team store, the proceeds of which will go to help displaced and disabled workers?

Hahaha, of course you didn't, because such uniforms don't exist. Labor Day is the only in-season national holiday that gets no commemoration from Major League Baseball whatsoever. We don't even get a statement from the Commissioner honoring labor, organized or otherwise, despite the fact that the past half century of baseball history is inexplicably tied up with organized labor. . . . [I]t's not that Major League Baseball doesn't know it's Labor Day. . . . They just don't think it's worth commemorating much beyond [scheduling a few more day games].

This is not limited to Major League Baseball, of course. It's a reflection of where we are as a society. The obliteration and demonization of the labor movement is one of the most successful political operations of the past 40 years. Organized labor makes up a smaller portion of the workforce than it ever has. Even a great many of the people who do the working in this country have bought in to the notion — propagated by those who profit from labor — that unions are tools of the communists and giving any lip service to the rights of workers is a suspect and even un-American pursuit. Good, secure jobs with good pay and benefits have come to be seen as rare luxuries for which it is rude to ask, let alone expect. What's worse: many workers themselves have adopted the language of the rich and powerful in this regard, having been convinced that their need to hustle harder than they used to in order to make less in real dollars than they used to is somehow a good thing. . . .

[I]t's regrettable that the quintessentially American institution of baseball can't find time to give even a nod to the men and women who form the figurative foundation of American society and built the literal foundation of America itself.


On Saturday, the union representing concessions workers at Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, voted to strike after negotiations with the Giants' food service contractor — a company called Bon App├ętit — stalled. The union says workers have not received a pay increase since April 2018 and they are seeking $3 per hour in retroactive hazard pay. Safety measures are also at issue . . . 

UNITE HERE Local 2, a union representing 14,000 hotel, airport, and food service workers in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, reports that the Giants "have failed to enforce mask and social distancing policies, and 20+ food service workers have been infected. . . . 96.7% of concessions workers at the @SFGiants Oracle Park have voted to STRIKE for safety, health care & hazard pay."

(my emphasis throughout)

Also: wmtc: "labour day 2021: demand more. work less."

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