Having enjoyed many May 1st’s outside the US as a day off work or school in honor of the International Worker’s Day, it’s always on my mind, when the calendar flips over to May. The US has designated a different day in September as Labor Day, however the origins of this international holiday come from an event in the US in 1886, in Chicago.
On May 1, 1886 labor unions in the US decided to go on strike demanding an eight-hour workday. Just three days after the strike began, a blast occurred at a peaceful rally at the Haymarket in Chicago leaving several dead and injured. In 1889 the International Socialist Conference declared May 1st as a day to continue the campaign for the eight-hour workday. It became an annual event which has since morphed into a more watered down, generic “day off work” in much of the world (except Communist countries) and at different times of the year in a few countries, like the US.
Coincidentally, today it’s also cause for celebration by many workers here in Texas, who are starting to return to their jobs and sources of income. I know this comes with a sense of relief and also some worry. It’s not as simple as returning from a long vacation. The ground has shifted.
Will their companies be able to bounce back? Will their jobs be secure if there’s a recession? What will the impact of the oil price double-whammy be to their jobs in the Texas economy? Will they stay healthy? Do they have health insurance to cover what comes next? What if there’s another surge in cases followed by another lock down? Can they survive a second wave? Financially? Health-wise? Emotionally?
Only time will tell. The train has left the station. Let’s see what happens.
Today’s daily reflection in a booklet I refer to every morning had this to share for May 1st.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” Luke: 12:25
Isn’t it magnificent how the right words can show up at just the right time.