Here we are, Labor Day 2020.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day, “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
Maine House Republicans celebrate those contributions, as we recognize the precarious positions that many workers and their families are in this first Monday of September 2020.
We celebrate the news that the Bath Iron Works (BIW) strike is settled for all concerned and for the supportive role played by Senator Collins and the Trump Administration.
BIW workers builds the finest ships in the world, contributes to our economy and to our national defense. Their success is Maine’s success.
We celebrate the small business grant program announced by the Governor and what it means for those workers impacted by government mandated shutdowns.
2020 has been a rough year on Maine’s hard working people and there are differing realities for Maine workers this Labor Day.
There are those workers fully employed, working at home and connected to their families. They are trying to do what they are told they must have do to be successful and safe.
These workers have been managing this routine since March and we salute them for bending the curve back in March and their ongoing efforts to keep others safe.
There are part-time workers that have limited hours, greatly reduced resources and no idea how much longer they have to wait to earn full wages. They too, are doing what they can ensure safety, while also ensuring they earn a living.
Frontline workers have been there every day, doing their job, even before it was clear that the virus was not going to kill millions. They have to deal with an angry or fearful public and time away from their families.
We salute these workers who go out everyday and face the added burden of having to comply with ever changing regulations, mandates, guidance and decrees that leave all of us not knowing which way is up.
Still others, thousands of workers, are not working at all. Those that had resources to begin with have, or likely will, use them up. These workers are looking to get back to work, while our Governor continues to impose limits on the capacity of businesses and ties employer’s hands.
These workers have had to face the near total disfunction of Maine’s unemployment system for months and now must face the fall and winter job market in Maine.
To these workers who want to get back to work and for whom government assistance is not a way of life, we will continue to do all we can to get Maine open.
For every working Mainer across all of Maine’s job sectors, this period of social isolation has cost us opportunities to come together. Each of us have had our opportunities to interact with others through our charitable groups, our social clubs, and even our churches limited by government mandates.
While this is done in the name of safety, it has only served to divide us further as our interactions are relegated to impersonal virtual contact. Gatherings that are the hallmark to Labor Day weekend and the celebration of work ethic and end of Summer in Maine, are canceled.
But the Maine worker is tough and House Republicans are committed to speaking out on behalf of those who are prisoners of the silent epidemics that the continual use of emergency order extensions have caused.
With domestic violence, depression, substance abuse, overdose deaths, all on the rise, House Republicans will continue to advocate for those Mainers, for those workers, forgotten during this pandemic and the never-ending ever-changing emergency orders.
We want Maine to be safe and healthy in every way possible, so that workers and so that all of Maine can begin to recover from the damage that Maine has sustained in 2020.
We have not forgotten you.
This has been Representative MaryAnne Kinney with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
Thank you for listening and sharing it with others.