JNR Spotlight: Labor Day

As we look forward to a day off next Monday for Labor Day, it is important to recognize and celebrate the contributions and dedication of the American work force. Men and women all over the country work tirelessly in their individual jobs that sustain the overall well-being of the country and the nation’s economy. While relaxing on the beach or barbequing in the backyard, take a moment to remember those who fought the important fight to give workers their rights and those whose continuous efforts keep progressing this country forward.

Although Labor Day is often considered the official end of summer, here are some statistics to be happy about.

  • Summer does not officially end until September 22, 2016.
  • Officially, this is the 122nd Labor Day.
  • President Grover Cleveland signed into law an act to make Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. We have been celebrating ever since.
  • This year, we celebrate the 5 million people in the American labor force
  • Employment has risen 9% since December 2014 bringing our unemployment rate to just 4.9%.
  • Every year there is a Labor Day parade in New York City to commemorate the 1882 march that started it all.

Specifically in the Meetings Industry we can be especially proud of our contribution.

  • Meetings employ nearly 1.8 million people and generate $235 billion in total labor income.
  • The Meetings and Events Industry directly and indirectly supports 6.3 million jobs and generates almost $1 trillion a year.

We hope you and your friends and family have the opportunity to barbeque, spend time on the beach, lay out by the pool and just enjoy the long weekend.  Refresh and get ready to head back to school and work all while being grateful that we have a great country made up of great people.

Happy Labor Day!

 

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JNR is a full service, globally recognized leader in the incentive industry offering solutions for Meetings and Conferences, Incentive Travel, Special Events and Entertainment, Prepaid Card Services and AXS Contact Center Solutions. We have over 35 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies across many industries. Our clients trust our comprehensive suite of solutions that offer a better way to reach performance, productivity and loyalty objectives. JNR tends to every detail of your program to ensure an extraordinary experience for your customers, employees and participants and a favorable return on your investment. We allow you to step away from the logistical details and let you focus on what you do best.

 

The True Meaning of Thanksgiving

I love the Fall, the cooler weather, the vibrant colors and Thanksgiving, being grateful for our blessings, no presents, no expectations – just getting together with family and friends, gathering around a picturesque table, partaking in a splendid meal and feeling safe while sharing pleasant and personal conversation.

Thanksgiving is a day for caring, as personal connections are becoming rare with our mobile culture. People are becoming isolated, less connected and possibly less cared for, thus sharing basic human interaction is essential and what better time than Thanksgiving?

What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Do you picture a time of thankfulness toward God and/or your fellow man and woman—or is it merely one of eating, partying and watching football? This day was established for celebrating our blessings. We can not let its meaning slowly deteriorate under a cloud of media hype, sales pitches, marketing tactics and blitz commercialism. We must hold on to our human kinship. We can certainly enjoy all the surrounding festivities, but must keep true priorities in sync.

The Pilgrims could never have imagined America would become the global superpower it is today, where we enjoy the freedoms of religion and speech and welcome individuals and families to emigrate and enjoy these same liberties. We are the first country in support of others. So let’s support one another.

Speaking of Pilgrims…In 1621, on the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, do you think they and their Wampanoag Indian guests dined on turkey dinners, cranberries, candied yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie like most Americans and Canadians do today? Their three-day harvest celebration included deer and wildfowl leaving most of today’s classic Thanksgiving dishes off the table.

Popular myths aside, potatoes—white or sweet—would not have been featured, and neither would sweet corn. Neither was bread stuffing though the Pilgrims may have used herbs or nuts to stuff birds. The table would have been loaded with native fruits like plums, melons, grapes and cranberries, plus local vegetables such as leeks, wild onions, beans, Jerusalem artichokes and squash. For the starring dishes, undoubtedly they included native birds and game as well as the Wampanoag gift of five deer, along with fish and shellfish.

Pilgrims roasted and boiled food. Can’t you imagine venison and whole wildfowl roasting on spits over hot glowing coals, while large brass pots of stews and vegetables were simmering in the household hearth?

In 1789 Federal Congress realized our nation should have a day of Thanksgiving and passed a resolution asking President George Washington to issue a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin” – the first time Thanksgiving was celebrated under the new Constitution. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln stated that Thanksgiving was to be regularly commemorated the last Thursday of November. In 1939, the last Thursday in November fell on the last day of the month. Concerned the shortened Christmas shopping season might dampen economic recovery; President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a Proclamation moving Thanksgiving to the second to last Thursday of November. On October 6, 1941, the House passed a joint resolution and agreed to an amendment whereas President Roosevelt signed the resolution on December 26, 1941, establishing the fourth Thursday in November as the Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday. Thank goodness all that changing is over with.

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, consider the many wonderful blessings you enjoy. Be thankful, whether in prayer or in thought, be sincere in the same heartfelt manner that the Pilgrims and Indians shared on their first Thanksgiving in North America. Gather with family and friends to give thanks for our many, many blessings. Let’s all do our best to keep the true meaning of Thanksgiving, to enjoy each others company and to share with one another in gratitude.

By LuAnn Jalet

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

To Shop or Not To Shop

Originally, and for hundreds of years, Thanksgiving was a day of celebration, of being thankful for our blessings and sharing with those we love.

Then, Thanksgiving became less traditional meaning turkey, family, football and a day off work.

Now, with “Black Friday”— and sometimes even “Black Thursday” — millions of American households consider Thanksgiving as a prelude to a shopping spree and are intent on rushing out to buy bargains for Christmas.

Black Friday used to be the extra dessert after Thanksgiving, a day to stretch our shopping muscles for Christmas. It was fun, productive and beneficial. But now some of us Americans believe retailers have crossed the line and shoppers have lost their minds, not to mention their manners.

For the last decade, retailers, keen to spur holiday spending, have moved the starting line forward for this consumer sport, luring shoppers to get up earlier and earlier on Black Friday or, in recent years, to leave their homes on Thanksgiving day itself by offering deals on limited supplies of high–visibility products such as must–have toys and the hottest consumer electronics. Grab your credit card, be the first in line, trample your fellow man and woman…get that deal!

Up to 150 million Americans visit stores on Black Thursday and Friday, with almost half this number saying they will definitely shop and the remaining 76 million say they will wait to see what merchants have on offer for the three full days after Thanksgiving. Billions of dollars will be spent.

While it is understandable that brick-and-mortar retailers have become very aggressive trying to reel in customers due to online competition, volatile consumer confidence, minimal margins resulting from continual markdowns and our inconsistent economy, the frenzy caused is absurd.

Gone are the days when shoppers pored over newspaper ads the day after Thanksgiving and then planned their fun trip to the Mall. Shopping now is more of an interactive game, in which consumers hunt and gather bargains forcing retailers to continually extend themselves and still make a profit. It’s all so exhausting.

The great game of holiday buying and selling added another dimension that took hold but is slowly reverting back. Employees are beginning to protest having to work on Thanksgiving. Americans are revisiting conversations about the real meaning of Thanksgiving, which previously had always been a traditionally important and restful holiday. Many of us have grown tired of watching people pushing, shoving and crushing each other on, or within 24 hours of Thanksgiving. Oh, the dichotomy of the human spirit.

The menacing Black Thursday turns off some Americans but no doubt there will be those who will line up early and rush in when the doors open on Thanksgiving evening. Those whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, and still live in Plymouth, Massachusetts, are glad that Colonial-era blue laws prohibit retailers from plying their wares on Thanksgiving. They still know this holiday is about giving thanks for all we have.

However, most everywhere else in America, stores will fling open their door and move out of the way for their shoppers galore while letting commerce invade what used to be such an enjoyable and restful holiday.

So much for peace and quiet.

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

JNR Holiday Boutique

We all strive to find that perfect work/life balance, the yin and the yang that keeps us sane.  Too often that state of equilibrium is tossed aside as we approach the holiday season where we are met with seemingly endless commitments, deadlines, budget balancing, gift giving, family meals, celebrations and anything else we can cram into the remaining six weeks of the year.  A major perk of working for an Incentive Company is that our people get the value of incentives.  Our executives know the importance of happy employees and our HR team is phenomenal in keeping us all engaged; always working hard to make sure JNR employees like being JNR employees and will continue to be JNR employees.  To make our lives a little easier, last Friday our HR team including Heather, Kristy, Kelsey and Kalyn pulled together our annual Holiday Boutique.   After weeks of planning and organizing, our hallways, conference rooms and any open space we could find were filled with vendors selling their wares and giving us all a little head start on the holiday shopping.  It’s little things like this that can really make a difference in employee satisfaction.  Giving busy employees a chance to take a break, shop for one-of-a-kind to high end, locally made items in preparation for upcoming Holidays was a welcomed treat. Thank you also to our incredible vendors, if anyone would like to shop local you can visit their websites below.

 

Girly Laundry – Women’s Clothing and Accessories
http://www.girlylaundry.com/

doTERRA – Essential Oils
http://www.doterra.com/en

OC Culture Shop – Handcrafted Soaps
http://occultureshop.com/
Gold Canyon Candles – Scented Candles
http://occultureshop.com/

Rodan + Fields – Specialized Skin Care
http://occultureshop.com/

NativeCreationsCo – Handcrafted Jewelry Inspired by nature
https://www.etsy.com/shop/NativeCreationsCo

Stella & Dot – Jewelry
http://www.stelladot.com/

 

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

JNR Spotlight: Labor Day

Oh no, the first Monday in September is coming – Labor Day — the end of summer.  The parties, parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks and events are sure to be fun but think about the children who have to face the back-to-school anxiety. When the kids protest, don’t tell them about “back in your day…” teach them a little American History. Let them know that Labor Day is to appreciate and celebrate the contributions and achievements of American Workers.   That, in the 1800s, children as young as 5 worked in mills, factories and mines across our country, earning little or no money at all.  The average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks just to make a very basic living.

The 18th to 19th centuries were times of great innovation and much progress.  Americans and European societies formerly immersed in agriculture and working from their homes, became industrial and urban. The iron and textile industries, along with the development of the steam engine, played central roles in the Industrial Revolution, which also saw improved systems of transportation, communication and banking. While industrialization brought about increased volumes and varieties of manufactured goods and an improved standard of living for some, people of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing became the source of American employment, labor unions appeared, and grew more prominent and vocal.  They organized strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. There were many events that turned violent during this period and people were killed.  Then, on September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day Parade in U.S. history.  Because of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with the American workers, someone first proposed the Labor Day holiday in 1882. We still don’t know if it was Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing the holiday.  However, it wasn’t until 12 years later, on May 11, 1894, that worker’s rights were brought directly into the public’s view, when, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives.

On June 26, 1894, the American Railroad Union called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the death of many workers.  Afterwards, in 1894, the labor movement created the Labor Day Holiday and then Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday.

So while we are lamenting all the fun stuff we didn’t get a chance to do this summer, let’s be thankful that our ancestors worked so hard during the Industrial Revolution to make America great so we have fun stuff to do – all year long.  Besides, summer is not really over. We’ve got weeks left until September 22, the last official day of the season. So quit worrying; Instead, go do summer things. Go to the beach, have a picnic, wear shorts, eat all the barbecue you want. Take the long Labor Day weekend off. Enjoy summer. It will be gone soon — just not now, so have fun!

Happy Labor Day!

By JNR Incorporated

Written by LuAnn Jalet, Chief Operating Officer

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.