Our Quote of the Week is a reminder of the ways in which workers have pushed to humanize our collective working life. On this Labor Day, let us honor our workers and let remember the lessons of 2020: our workers are essential, and they need to be valued and nurtured if we are to have a healthy and prosperous society.
In a speech given 48 years ago today, Sargent Shriver addressed American workers and articulated all of the issues facing labor that he saw at the time. This is another of a series of speeches that Shriver made on the campaign trail in 1972, when he was the Vice Presidential candidate on the McGovern campaign. He stresses the importance of having adequate employment and good wages, but says that these are not enough, that in order for people to thrive, it is the quality of their work that matters. Focusing on job productivity, safety, and the rapid changes that technology is bringing, Shriver emphasizes that there is much more to job satisfaction than merely being employed. It is in this context that he speaks about humanizing American life.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of labor in our society. 2020 has been the year where many of us have come to understand the vital importance of the "essential worker". As we move forward, let's remember the value of work and of every individual on whose efforts we rely not just thrive, but to survive!