Hats off to those who labor

Monday marks yet another holiday on our yearly calendar, a day in which some of us will enjoy time away from work; others will wrap up final beach weekends before the school year kicks into high gear; and still others will use the day as one to simply catch their breath or merely catch up.

Will many of us here in Madison County stop to think of why it is we have this holiday, or for what reason it was decided that this should be a day in which to celebrate? We should.

This is a holiday that is about us — the American workers, the men and women who have, through time, put the elbow grease, the critical thinking skills and the common sense practices together to make businesses grow and proposer and, by virtue of that fact, made our country stronger and more prosperous as well.

Labor Day, celebrated the first Monday in September, is a day set aside each year to honor those who labor, and to those who have labored through history to advance our nation and provide it both social and economic achievements.

For more than 125 years, the United States has set this day aside to honor the working men and women who get up every day, make their way to work and, through what they do, provide the American economic engine the fuel tit needs to keep moving onward and upward.

Today, we tip our hat to each and every man and woman who labors — be it in the factory or the field, the small business or the large, the corporate board room or the industrial floor.

With that in mind we offer this bit of advice to our companies/employers and an up-and-coming labor force which hasn’t yet found its foothold to be able to make an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work.

That advice is:

• For both workers and employers: Give every day your work everything you have;

• For workers, learn to be indispensable; to companies — please don’t pressure your workers into feeling they must be “on the clock” all the time; don’t reward workaholics and those who don’t take vacations or sick days when they are sick;

• For workers, don’t go to work thinking your employer owes you a living — work to earn it; for companies, don’t think of workers as just “personnel” and an expense item on a budget;

• To workers, respect your customers and understand the age-old rule that they are always right; to employers, respect your employees, and remember that as the people who actually do the work, value their views and input;

• To workers, speed and efficiency are important qualities; to companies, “we need this yesterday” shows your workers poor planning and organization; give them the time to to their jobs;

• For both workers and employers, courtesy should be second nature and always exhibited;

• For workers, enjoy what you do; it’s important; for the company, provide perks and an environment that makes the workplace enjoyable;

• For workers, work as if you owned the company; if you are the company, manage it as if the employees own the company;

• For workers, strive for your best and give it to those who’ve put their trust in you; if you are the company, operate in a way that deserves that trust; and

• For workers, be thankful that you have a job; for employers, be thankful you have hard-working and dedicated employees.

You, the working men and women of this country, are what makes business and industry strong, you are the backbone. And, if that backbone is weak, then so is the economy which you drive.

Being an American worker is something in which to be very proud. And if we are the best at what we do, well, that makes it all the more important that we celebrate what you do come September of every year.

Let us, as workers here in Madison County and across America, earn the right to be honored and earn the right to be called a great American worker.