I march on Labor Day because workers are under assault in our country. Corporations have been using their increasing power to try to bust unions and deprive workers of their basic rights to a living wage and health care benefits. Similarly, numerous state governments have recently cast their unionized workers as the scapegoats for their budget problems and have outrageously attempted to curtail collective bargaining rights. We need to speak out and fight back against these assaults.
I march on Labor Day because the gap between rich and poor has increased dramatically in the past few decades. We have witnessed wage stagnation for the working and middle classes while CEO salaries have reached astronomical, obscene levels. We are still the wealthiest nation on the planet and there is absolutely no reason why the share of the pie that goes to workers should be diminished. We need to make our outrage known.
I march on Labor Day because I know from past experience that it’s great fun. It’s joyful and empowering to take to the streets with fellow writers and union members and exercise our rights to free speech and assembly. These rights are only valuable when they are actually used – if we neglect to exercise them, we risk losing them. When we march, we become part of a noble tradition of expressing ourselves with our feet and our lungs that ties us historically to Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Lech Walesa and the leaders of this year’s Arab Spring. How cool is that?
Finally, I march on Labor Day because I spend too much time in my writing cave, parked at the keyboard, staring at the computer screen. My skin is too pale, my muscles risk atrophy. I need the sun and the exercise.
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Saturday, Sept 10th
44th and 5th Avenue
Look for the red WGAE banner
Jeff Stolzer is a screenwriter, playwright and former question writer for Regis Philbin on WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE. He is a proud member of the Writers Guild since 1991.