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Monday, September 7, 2015


The Sunday edition has all the concerts, festivals, and arts events happening today, whether on or specifically for the holiday. Plus concerts and more through the coming week, and the vast abundance of festivals (in detail) through this month and next.

So we wanted to take a moment to note that today is LABOR DAY, and that's special, because it was intended as a day when you did not labor (good luck with that, in an age when nobody even gets their two weeks' vacation anymore).

Labor Day has its roots in parades and celebrations held as early as 1882. It became a National Holiday in a political omnibus bill that shows how compromise and legislation that included (or at least referenced) "something for everybody" was how you got things done. Back when Congress was interested in getting anything done. Anyway, we got Labor Day as "Labor's Day" in a package, with the passage of Senate Bill S. 730 and the signature of the President on June 28, 1894. You can see that the designation of Labor Day as a federal holiday to be celebrated on the first Monday of September was not alone. Here's the text of the statute:

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the first Monday of September in each year, being the day celebrated and known as Labor’s Holiday, is hereby made a legal public holiday, to all intents and purposes, in the same manner as Christmas, the first day of January, the twenty-second day of February, the thirtieth day of May, and the fourth day of July are now made by law public holidays."


Here are some appropriate headlines and links to start your Labor Day:

a)  AMERICA FINALLY GETS PAID SICK LEAVE FOR WORKERS.  See today's (Sep 7) story, "Obama adds another worker benefit: paid sick leave" at link. The new Executive Order does not help all, but with the US the ONLY industrialized nation with no paid sick leave mandate, it will help many.
Also see:

b)  "TEN LABOR DAY FACTS AND STATISTICS FOR THE AMERICAN WORKER." This Sep 7 piece by Sean Williams of The Motley Fool uses US Department of Labor statistics to reveal the current state of affairs at the workplace and what that means for all of us.

c)  And for the hard-working musician... STEVEN TYLER busks with Moscow street musician ALEXANDER ANISINOVFOR, and goes unrecognized by the guy with his acoustic guitar. "He sings well," said the street musician. Tyler and AEROSMITH are playing to 100,000 people a night on their current Russian tour. The story — with a video link to watch the street performance — is in Sep 7 newspapers all over the world:

d)  The OLDEST AMERICAN LABOR DAY TRADITION, the "LABOR DAY PICNIC," gets a 2015 reality check, in the story with that title, written by Morgan Kyrklund in the Sep 7 Tucson, Arizona paper. Here's an excerpt:
"Labor Day isn’t simply a time to fire up the grill and enjoy one last weekend of summer. It’s a day to think about the challenges facing American workers. While the economy is recovering, unemployment is down more than 5%, according to the latest government numbers.
"Over the last few months, groups here in Tucson protested for higher wages. Right now, hundreds of Sun Tran bus employees are striking for better working conditions. The protesters have been picketing for more than a month now. Organizers of the strike say still there is no end in sight.
"A Labor Day picnic is happening today at Reid Park. It starts at 10:00 this morning and goes till 2:00 in the afternoon. It is free and open to the public."

e)  US LABOR SECRETARY TOM PEREZ issued an invitation today through

"Labor Day is about more than barbecues and a three-day weekend. It is a day owned by every one of us, to honor our contributions to America's strength and prosperity. Today, we're looking at more than 13 million private-sector jobs created since 2010, and 66 consecutive months of private-sector job growth.

"That is prosperity that we created together. And it deserves to be recognized. The problem is that far too many Americans still aren't sharing in that prosperity.

"As we continue to emerge from the depths of the great recession, the challenge before us is to make sure more Americans get a slice of the pie that they helped bake. America, after all, is stronger when more people have more.

"Last month, I hit the road to meet hardworking Americans standing together to raise their voices. Whether it's making sure an honest day's work earns a fair day's pay, or insisting that no one should have to choose between the job they need and the family they love, Americans across this country are showing that small conversations at the lunch table can lead to big changes at the boardroom table.

"It starts with a conversation. And you can commit to start one today right here:

"You can tell us about how you or someone you know stepped up in your workplace to push for a change, whatever your issue may be — from better wages to workplace fairness to greater equality.

"And here's what's next:

"On October 7, we're hosting a 'Summit on Worker Voice' at the White House. The Summit will rally workers, employers, unions, organizers and others to bring attention to both the new, innovative ways that workers are coming together to have a voice in their workplaces, as well as the proven practices — like collective bargaining — that have sustained the middle class for generations.

"As history has shown time and time again, there's no limit to what we can accomplish when we speak up with one voice. We are, after all, stronger together.

"So add your voice: Say you'll start the conversation.

"Happy Labor Day."


Secretary Tom Perez
Department of Labor


Enjoy your Labor Day in Southern California. It's cooler out, and festivals beckon. And there's no shortage of indoor musical events, either, including one with folksinger and certified "Music Legend" honoree ROSS ALTMAN, specifically for Labor Day. 

See the Sunday Guide for all of it.


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