Labor Day Look Ahead: Sparking Conversation

What does Labor Day  mean to your audience? In Pennsylvania, it means you don't have to pay for a fishing license:  Fish for free on Labor Day. In Cleveland, it means the Air Show.

Around the nation, as we approach this Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 5) columnists will point to stagnating wages for the average worker, as this Roanoke writer did in 2006: There's not much to celebrate on Labor Day – Roanoke.com http://bit.ly/qYKl3K

Ideas for prompts for your site, Facebook page and Twitter feed that will spur reader engagement (short url's included to make sharing easier):

*Ask for nominees for the oldest worker. Five years ago, a nonprofit identified what it said was the oldest worker in each state, including  Louise Carpenter, 91, in Pennsylvania – Philly.com http://bit.ly/pdPzcz

*Ask what bosses are doing for the day — or what they should do for workers. Ernst & Young, with 140,000 employees around the globe, is giving its US workers an extra day off as a Labor Day celebration (in addition to the usual three-day break). The company announced this with a tweet: http://bit.ly/mQd7ZT

*Are gas prices leading families to alter plans for a road trip? Gas prices are up over a year ago but down about 3% in the last month: Daily Fuel Gauge Report–national, state and local average prices from the AAA http://bit.ly/mXfFZj

*History: do readers know what worker conditions were like 120 years ago, when the holiday started?Federal Department of Labor has this history of the holiday: The History of Labor Day http://1.usa.gov/qLMohg

Ask workers if they or their families are better off, the same, or worse than they were five years ago.Is there a family in your area with three generations of union members? Four generations? Five?

*Politics of Labor Day range from national (Obama To Attend Labor Day Festivities In Detroit http://cbsloc.al/oFD5Qa) to very local. In Wasau, WI, the fight is over a move by parade organizers to bar Republican office holders from marching in the town's parade. The mayor threatened to withhold city funds and now Republicans are invited, too | Wausau Daily Herald |  http://bit.ly/pivh9K

Is there a parade in your area: ask readers if they plan to march or attend the parade? Do they have a favorite part of the celebration?

What works for you? How have you sparked a conversation with readers about Labor Day?

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