In his 2008 memoir Touch and Go, invaluable author/broadcaster/agitator Studs Terkel encounters a yuppie couple at his bus stop. Never shy, Studs makes mention of Labor Day. "We despise unions" responds the sharp-dressed young man with a Wall Street Journal tucked beneath his arm. Studs, in fiery Studs fashion, responded thusly:
“How come you don't work 14 hours a day? Your great-great-grandparents did. How come you only work the eight-hour day? Four guys got hanged fighting for the eight-hour day for you.”
Labor Day weekend is prime time for drunk-scarfing hotdogs, sure. But come Monday, let this playlist — which, admittedly, takes tons of creative license regarding the term "pro-union" — be a rockin' reminder of why we even have weekends.
Billy Bragg — "Power In a Union" (Joe Hill cover)Gil Scott-Heron — "Three Miles Down" Pete Seeger — "Solidarity Forever" (Ralph Chaplin cover) The Replacements — "God Damn Job" (OK, an excuse to include the 'Mats) Woody Guthrie — "Union Burying Ground" Florence Reece — "Which Side Are You On?" Dolly Parton — "9 to 5" The Clash — "Career Opportunities" Judy Collins — "Bread and Roses" (Rose Schneiderman poem) Bruce Springsteen — "Factory" Update #1: Make it 11! Here's John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" Update #2: OK, OK, we'll stop. But No. 12 has gotta be Tom Morello's "Union Town."