Today represents not only celebration, but also historical points of note. What is commonplace in the 21st century has not always been the case. With progress comes change but all too often it is a slow process and comes with a price.
June 27 is...Industrial Workers Of The World Day
Do you like the idea of a 40-hour work week? Would you want to go back to the days of employers being forced to offer paid benefits and vacations with no guarantee they will live up to promises made? Think about all the other stuff taken for granted because people in organizations like the Industrial Workers of the World put their lives on the line for the rights of the working man. These are the men and women to whom we offer today's celebration.
|1914 IWW demonstration in New York City|
Flip Side of the Coin...One hundred and nine years ago on June 27, 1905, a group of anarchists, socialists and vagabond activists gathered in a meeting hall in Chicago. This gathering later became known as the First Annual Convention of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), who became known as the Wobblies. The IWW became an international revolutionary industrial labor organization. The IWW embraced two guiding principles, fighting like the AFL for better wages, hours, and conditions, but also promoting an eventual, permanent solution to the problems of strikes, injunctions, bull pens, and union scabbing.
Take a moment and look around where you are standing or sitting at this very moment. Everything around you came at a price...all of the gadgets and products you use everyday. Not just the dollar expense but the work that went into producing each one - the home you live in and the office building in which you work complete with central heat and air, as well as indoor plumbing, the furniture provided for relaxation and comfort, the electronic devices that make life so much more convenient and easier, the automobile that allows transportation in an fast and efficient manner, the fresh water you drink, the list is endless!
With all the above thoughts and so much more in mind comes the celebration of June 27 as Industrial Workers of the World Day. The day's celebration was created for all of us to stop and take notice of the HUGE role industrial workers play in our day-to-day lives. Need more to help you get the picture? Close your eyes and imagine a world without the evolution of industry--NO economic activity, NO processing of raw materials, NO manufacture of goods in factories.
As you are out and about, be sure to interject many 'thank yous' as you greet and meet anyone associated with industrial work...factory workers, welders, machinists, construction workers and all of the other individuals who work hard everyday producing things to make life better.