Importance of Labor evident this year

We usually celebrate Labor Day with picnics, an extra day at the lake, or just relaxing at home. That’s a great way to celebrate, but we should take a moment or two to think about the importance of labor in our country.

We have an extra reminder this year in the area. When Del Monte announced it would be closing its Sleepy Eye packing plant after this season, 360 or so jobs in the area were cut as well. The impact of those jobs, and the loss of them, will be felt in Sleepy Eye and all over the area.

Jobs are important. All work has value, whether it is done by college-educated, MBA-owning executives in tall headquarters buildings, or the laborer in jeans and t-shirt on the production floor. Growing, harvesting and canning peas and corn are important jobs, jobs that provide food for people long after the farmers markets have frozen over.

The old saying goes, “You never miss the water ’til the well runs dry,” and so it is with jobs.

As we celebrate the importance of Labor today, let us hope that those jobs in Sleepy Eye might be preserved in some way, either through the sale of the plant to another producer, or some new industry finding an opportunity to use the plant, and that when Labor Day 2020 rolls around, there will be good reason to celebrate in Sleepy Eye.