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Monday, September 7, 2009

Your Top-10 Labor-Related Things To Do on Labor Day

Posted By on Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 8:59 AM

The inaugural Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City. The prevailing wage at the time was a penny a century and Americans' favorite pastimes included hopscotch, dying of cholera, and sea chanteys.

Much has changed -- sea chanteys are no longer a passion of the masses -- but Labor Day has been a Federal holiday since 1894.

As we enjoy what the U.S. Department of Labor calls "A national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country," how can we put the labor back into Labor Day?

10. Go into labor. If your bouncing baby is born today, Sept. 7, he or she will share a birthday with The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde -- who famously sang about working on a chain gang -- and director Elia Kazan -- who even more famously portrayed unions as murderous, criminal enterprises in On the Waterfront.

9. Read Love's Labours Lost. Here -- you needn't even leave the house. Or, watch Matthew Lillard -- yes, the guy who played Shaggy in Scooby-Doo -- do Shakespeare here.  

8. Go root on some union workers. Sadly, the San Francisco Giants are out of town and the Oakland A's have the day off -- members of both teams belong to the Major League Baseball Players Association. If you were to show up at either squad's stadium, however, and insist upon gaining entry, a member of the Police Officers Association would probably be called in sooner or later.

7. Sing songs about Joe Hill. You can belt out ditties about the executed labor figure (that's him on the right) in English, French, or Swedish.

6. Go to Dolores Park and drink. Rancor about being "harassed" for openly flouting laws preventing drinking in public is hot these days. On that note...

5. Fight for your right to parrrrrr-ty. Everyone needs a cause. It isn't exactly on par with labor's early 20th century battles -- but, damn it, mom threw away our best porno mag (bust it)! 

4. Find something made in America -- and buy it. Degree of difficulty: No used clothing stores.

3. Go build something. Seriously, these folks would probably love the help

2.Find building in city, assemble friends, bang on pots and pans.Why should SEIU have all the fun?  

1. Come up with exciting variations of the "2, 4, 6, 8" chant. The current crop is getting very old

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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