The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Editorials

August 30, 2013

Labor Day honors many

Spectators at Monday’s Labor Day parade in Danville will see a long stream of special floats and other entries celebrating workers in our community.

Manufacturing still plays a vital and large role in the area, and Monday’s participants in the Labor Day parade will show workers proud of their efforts.

Danville once was known as a “union town,” as if that were a bad thing. During the course of our nation’s history, labor unions brought about changes in the workplace to the benefit of workers and employers alike. They made job sites safer, helped push wages up and provided a steady supply of trained, dedicated employees.

That’s not to say today’s manufacturing jobs remain the same as they did a generation or two ago. The workplace has changed in dramatic ways.

Today’s jobs involve much more technology. Workers depend as much on brain power as they do on muscle power. The days of being willing to work long hours with the chief asset being a strong back are, for the most part, gone. Many of today’s job require special training. Luckily, much of that training is available locally as such place as Danville Area Community College.

Manufacturing jobs fuel the middle class. The salaries earned by factory workers help support many other jobs in the community, from store clerks to physicians.

So remember Labor Day as more than the end of summer or the last three-day holiday of the year. Remember it’s a way to honor those who put in long days on the job to make our nation and our community a better place.

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