It's Labor Day. Schools are closed. We hope you're honoring those who work hard, and not necessarily working too hard yourselves. We're off, but we share the message that the United School Employees of Pasco sent to its members as they reflect on the holiday.
"This week many school employees will open their first paycheck and see the 3 percent retirement tax the Florida Legislature and Governor imposed on them. The sad truth is our elected officials balanced the budget on the backs of teachers, school employees, firefighters, law enforcement, civil servants and our families.
The next thing school employees will notice is a “furlough” deduction, another devastating consequence of the failure of Tallahassee to properly fund public schools. As a result, employees and their families all around the state are suffering while politicians continue to give tax breaks to their buddies and refuse to deal with an antiquated tax structure that is full of loopholes.
Thankfully, organized labor is leading the fight against the unconstitutional “retirement tax” and other legislation designed to undermine public education and take away workers’ rights. That’s why politicians try to portray unions as the enemy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As we approach Labor Day, we need to remind those who criticize unions that organized labor was the vital force that demanded safe working conditions, decent wages, retirement with dignity, basic healthcare, and the end to child labor. Organized labor is responsible for raising America’s standard of living for all workers and creating the greatest economy the world has ever known. It is appropriate, therefore, that our nation pays tribute to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom and leadership: the American Worker and Unions.
On Monday, September 5th, we will celebrate Labor Day. Enjoy your day off, but remember also to take a moment to reflect on the contribution of the American labor movement and the battles ahead that we must fight united."