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Working on Legal Holidays

May 27, 2015 Featured, Sunday Poll No Comments

Many of you likely enjoyed Memorial Day off work, we enjoyed a 3-day weekend in Chicago. I’m disabled so I’m off everyday — not as great as it sounds. My husband is an hourly worker, he took the day off without pay. He gets no paid holidays.

Customers on Chicago's Michigan Ave at 1pm on Memorial Day
Customers on Chicago’s Michigan Ave at 1pm on Memorial Day

Unfortunately, those with paid holidays don’t always think about those who work on holidays, or have unpaid days off. Monday we encountered many people working as we returned to St. Louis:

  • The doorman at the building where we stay in Chicago
  • Retail & restaurant workers
  • Taxicab drivers
  • Transit workers — the bus driver that took us to Union Station
  • The many drivers for Megabus — two on most.
  • Workers at the Dixie Truck Stop in McLean IL where our Megabus stopped for a break and to switch drivers.
  • Ballpark workers at Busch Stadium that we passed as we were almost back.
Busch Stadium on Memorial Day
Busch Stadium on Memorial Day

Imagine if you went out on your day off but couldn’t get gas in your car because all gas stations were closed due to no employees. You couldn’t fly anywhere because airlines were grounded — no TSA to screen you, no flight crew to operate the plane, no air traffic controllers to guide the plane. You walk to the market but it’s closed, as are all restaurants.

First responders & healthcare workers are there for us too — even on legal holidays.

Unfortunately the number of responses to the Sunday Poll were half the usual number, but here are the results anyway:

Q: Tomorrow is Memorial Day, have the day off work?

  1. Yes — paid holiday 6 [37.5%]
  2. Yes — retired/disabled/unemployed 4 [25%]
  3. TIE 3 [18.75%]
    1. Yes — unpaid
    2. No — will be at work
  4. TIE 0 [0%]
    1. Yes — used a vacation day
    2. Yes — off on Mondays

In this small sample the number of people off without pay plus those working equalled the number who were off with pay.

Around 9pm Monday we passed Soldiers’ Memorial (WWI) and the WWII memorial as we made our way home.

— Steve Patterson


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