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Monday September 07, 2020 |Notes

Labor goes too unrecognized

The frontline worker classification has greatly been expanded this year. Delivery drivers, grocery clerks, and warehouse workers have all been pushed into a new level of imporatance in response to the global pandemic. As much of the world has shifted to working from home, the people that move real goods are at work, providing the labor needed to make everything run.

Labor Day is intended to recognize the laborers of the United States and was enacted as part of the labor movement in the 19th century. Many Americans are only aware of the day as the marking of a three day holiday to unofficially end summer.

This year, it seems particularly important to recognize labor. Walter Thompson wrote about the importance of recognizing the labor from ecommerce workers.

COVID-19 lockdowns have put a spotlight on the importance and complexity of supply chain dynamics. In a world shaped by the pandemic, our reliance on e-commerce for everything from PPE to toilet paper to hard-boiled paperback mysteries has exploded. A recent report from Adobe found that total online spending is up 77% year-over-year, accelerating growth by “four to six years.” That growth has a very real human cost, and one that we don’t think about or act on enough as a society.

Labor builds the world, regardless of what controls it. Everyone owes more to the frontline labor workers than in the past. It's past time for Americans to readily promote and celebrate labor again.