How Ocala’s Labor Day Is Celebrated
Ocala’s Labor Day is traditionally a day to barbeque or picnic with family and friends. It is a day to relax, enjoy special events and be patriotic. Additionally, it marks the end of summer and the beginning of Fall, the harvest season. The day was first celebrated in 1882 and became a national holiday twelve years later. However, you may find its true meaning somewhat obscured by time. So we write this blog post to refresh old memories and enhance your understanding of why we celebrate.
Labor Day – A Brief History
This year, we will celebrate Ocala’s Labor Day on Monday, the 6th of September. On that day we will reflect on the birth of the labor movement in the United States. However, you may be surprised to learn how early in our history the movement was in fact born.
The first labor action in our country was a spontaneous strike by tailors in New York in 1768. Management had lowered their wages and the tailors were not happy. But undoubtedly, they responded in a way that was truly unique and unexpected. A strike by port workers followed six years later and led to the formation of the first labor union.
These events signaled a rebellion by workers against bosses they deemed to be acting unreasonably. Amazingly, both preceded our Declaration of Independence by several years. Before then management totally controlled companies. In fact, workers of the day believed they had no recourse. Therefore they resolved to live with management decisions, not matter how they impacted their lives.
Why The Labor Movement Was Born
Until 1768, business managers had free reign over their companies. Our nation viewed them as lords of their fiefdoms. Each had the power and the right to determine working conditions, working hours, wages paid and much more. Did they wield such power because it was their God given right? I think not! But if their power was not universal, how did they obtain and maintain it? In my view, societal norms empowered them. Both they and their workers believed that power rested exclusively with management. Eventually, these beliefs became self fulfilling prophecies.
However, the tailors’ strike began to change perceptions and precipitated the birth of the labor movement. Soon workers began to understand the importance of their roles. They learned that businesses could not function without them and, as a result, felt empowered. As workers realized that they could influence management decisions by simply withholding their services, a paradigm changed. Both sides began to alter their beliefs and accept a new reality. For the first time, all understood that by uniting, workers could become a force to contend with.
Evil or Conflicting Interests?
History teaches us that all systems of government can function to protect the rights of citizens if leaders are men of good will who strive to rule honestly and justly. But governments must act to protect citizens from those corrupted by power as well. Similarly, business owners and workers must be able to defend their interests. They must be able to overcome the impact of corruption, whether within management or trade unions.
Employees who work for an owner who values them and his wealth equally are fortunate. If management sets out to balance the two, workers may not need a union to protect them. Of course, if a union balances workers’ needs and management’s right to profit, the business enterprise is also fortunate. Therefore, managers may see the union as an ally, instead of an adversary. But interactions between labor and management are seldom prefect. Therefore, guidelines are necessary to ensure that each side has recourse when faced with adversaries corrupted by power. In order to function effectively, management and labor must adhere to guidelines design to protect the interests of both sides.
On Labor Day we celebrate the empowerment of workers that began more than two centuries ago. Bellow are three articles that will help you to understand the history of the labor movement better. Therefore, they will give you a greater appreciation for why we celebrate Ocala’s Labor Day. Enjoy the holiday, stay safe and be well:
The labor movement in the United States grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor…….Continue reading on HISTORY
Monday, September 6 offers a special reason to celebrate. The Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally……. Read more on HISTORY
The inaugural Ocala Labor Day 5k will take place on September 6th, 2021. Join us to celebrate an event which will surely take its place among our town’s Labor Day traditions. Due to the impact of the Delta variant, there are few opportunities to celebrate the holiday with an Ocala event…….. Continue reading on 352AREA.COM.
“A hundred times every day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” – Albert Einstein
Ocala is a great place to call home. It has been made even greater by pioneers who brought the equine industry to life here. It is also a place of opportunity. The cooperation between local governments and the CEP, the national Chamber of Commerce of the year, makes it so. These entities are instrumental in luring successful entrepreneurs to Marion County. The businesses these people headquarter here bringing high paying jobs to our community. Therefore, Ocala is at the vortex of a perfect storm of economic growth. Of course, the coming economic expansion makes our town the perfect place to invest in real estate as well.
Andrew Kruglanski, Broker