Give Thanks to Latino/a Labor on U.S. Labor Day

Participate in the Facebook Event: Give Thanks to Latino/a Labor on Labor Day

Today I’m picking weeds in my garden, getting ready for a big Labor Day shebang that Stephen is preparing for in our North Carolina yard. Sweat is streaming from my brow, dripping onto the earth, and after an hour I have to take a break.  A LONG break.  That got me to thinking about Labor Day, its origins, who is doing the physical labor in America, and what Labor Day means to me beyond the annual Bar-B-Que in the back yard with family and friends signaling the end of summer.

For the most part, the labor required to do America’s back-breaking physical work is done by Latino immigrants who tend to our agricultural farms, till the soil, plant the vegetables, cultivate and harvest them, and put food on the table for our enjoyment and sustenance.

They work in orchards and nurseries, on landscaping and construction crews and restaurant kitchens in cities and towns across America.

We depend on Latina labor to clean our houses and care for our children.  I see immigrant women of all ages in every town I visit in America working as caregivers and orderlies in health care units, hospitals and nursing homes.

In North Carolina, our chicken plants are staffed by Latino Labor who do the work that is dangerous, bloody and stinking, and repulsive to most.  They kill, clean and process the fowl that become chicken breasts, legs, thighs that are carefully packaged for our consumption that show up neatly, row upon row at our local Harris Teeter or Lowe’s or Food Lion or Kroger.

For every low paying job imaginable, think of a Latino/a worker.  I want to honor and give thanks to the men and women who work to serve the needs of America.  Won’t you join me?

Participate in the Facebook Event:  Give Thanks to Latino/a Labor on Labor Day

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