It’s surprising how much we need navigation marks like Labor Day in the calendar. The year somehow makes more sense when it’s segmented. The only seasonal cue some people need is ripe tomatoes and sweet corn, the knowledge that blueberries are over and peas are long gone. For others the U.S. Open will do, and for others it’s coming around the corner into the last 30 games of the regular baseball season.
For all the families delivering kids to college — and for the kids themselves — Labor Day is more than a buoy in the open waters of late summer: it is a sea change.
The distribution of holidays over the year appears almost entirely random — the result of historical occasion, legislation and, in one or two cases, long tradition. And yet it works out just about right.
Beginning now, on Labor Day, the holidays seem to come with greater frequency and greater significance, as if we needed to mark, in ever more important ways, our approach to the turning of the new year and the depth of winter. But that is looking much too far ahead on what is still, after all, a summer’s day."
Chicago Teachers Strike Ahead?
Chicago Teachers Strike: CPS, Union Negotiations Continue Over Holiday Weekend has a different take on the meaning of Labor Day in Chicago's system of public education:
"The holiday weekend hasn't been much of one for Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools officials as their negotiations continue in an effort to reach a teachers strike-averting compromise.

On Saturday, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. addressed the possibility of a teacher walkout during a news conference at Rainbow PUSH, according to CBS Chicago.

"It will affect street safety — the impact could be disastrous," Jackson told the station of a strike.

Meanwhile, at the Black Star Project's annual back-to-school Million Fathers March Saturday, organizer Phillip Jackson said he hoped the city and union alike will focus on what is best for the students going forward, WGN reports.

"There’s an old African proverb that says ‘when elephants fight, it’s the grass that gets trampled, so in this case when the Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union fights it’s the children who get trampled," Phillip Jackson told WGN.

On Thursday, the teachers union announced that their strike is set to begin Monday, Sept. 10, the earliest possible day union members could have chosen to stage a walkout. The union has been involved in a months-long standoff with the city over pay, class size and the longer school day.

"We have said from the beginning, we’re tired of being bullied, belittled and betrayed," Lewis told reporters Thursday. . . .

The teachers union is expected to stage a rally on Labor Day Monday in Daley Plaza.

Chicago teachers last staged a walkout in 1987."

European Version of Labor Day Isn't the Same as Ours ... Not Even Close
Today's Labor Day holiday in the U.S. is a day of relaxation and celebration for all Americans and therefore is radically different than the May Day/International Workers Day/Labor Day events that take place each year in Europe.