Green Party statement on Labor Day 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States released the following statement in celebration of Labor Day 2017. The statement was written by Steering Committee member Chris Blankenhorn.
For Immediate Release:
Monday, September 4, 2017
Scott McLarty, Media Director, 202-904-7614, [email protected]
Labor Day was established in the late 1800s as a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the American worker, a day to recognize the people who actually drive our economy. But when we look at the state of the American worker today, it is hard to ignore the glaring inequalities in our society. The workers have not seen the fruits of their labor, and our political and economic systems serve the few, at the expense of the worker.
Unfortunately, the American Dream has not been equally realized and is more a mirage than a dream for most. As workers, we live a varied spectrum of lives but are united by common conditions and experiences. From the service industry to the classroom, workers keep the world fed and functioning for a wage.
On days such as today, we must look to our commonalities for solidarity. Only through solidarity can we breach that which divides us and together forge a better future for the workers of the world.
The Green Party of the United States platform proclaims that "production is best for people and planet when democratically owned and operated by those who do the work and those most affected by production decisions. This model of worker and community empowerment will ensure that decisions that greatly affect our lives are made in the interests of our communities. Democratic, diverse ownership of production would decentralize power in the workplace, which would in turn decentralize economic power more broadly."
Only through a democratic workplace can the worker achieve justice. Only once human society is oriented towards people, not capitalist profit, can we hope to realize democracy and a sustainable future.
It is towards this future that we aspire today. From the first slave revolts in colonial America to the early days of fighting for the right to a union, workers in America have surged towards justice. From the martyrs in Haymarket Square to Cesar Chavez, those who came before us inspire us today. Unions like the Industrial Workers of the World have provided a collective voice for America’s workers from the days of Joe Hill to the present Green Party staff.
This lineage of comrades is who we celebrate today and who inspires us tomorrow. Movements like the labor movement are not finite things with a definite beginning and end. The echos of past victories and defeats are with us now. They inspire and educate, warn us and guide us. We are not alone in this struggle. We have the ghosts of those who came before us. And we have the promise of those who come after us. We have each other and the common goal of building something better than we have today.
Videos from the Green Party's 2017 Annual National Meeting in Newark, N.J., July 13-16: Press conferences, plenary speeches, and more
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