In the US today is Labor Day, a day which can be traced back to unions giving a day off for working citizens. Throughout the history of Trek, many episodes dealt with giving workers a break and other issues related to the toils of the worker, and so today we take a look at those Treks with labor.
TrekMovie’s picks for the top ‘labor’ related episodes of each series (and the movies).
The Original Series – “The Cloud Minders“
Long before Han Solo visited his old buddy Lando in Bespin, Captain Kirk took a trip to Stratos, a cloud city involved in mining. Both Kirk and Spock argued for the plight of the ‘Troglyte’ workers and eventually took up their cause to fight for their rights.
Fighting for their rights, but being Kirk, there is always a woman involved
Next Generation –“The Quality of Life“
Labor forces come in all types in the 24th Century and in "Quality of Life" Data discovers some robots (the ‘exocomps’) are more than just simple tools, but sentient beings with rights who should not be exploited or considered expendable, and he is willing to defy orders to protect them.
Power to the people (and robots)
Deep Space Nine – “Bar Association“
Rom gets tired of being exploited and unionizes the workers at Quark’s bar to fight for better labor conditions, something that is a high crime in Ferengi circles, but in the end, after negotiating a compromise, the workers win.
Ferengi of the galaxy, unite!
Voyager – “Workforce“
In a commentary on both the value of workers and how they can be exploited, Janeway and her crew are kidnapped, have their memories erased and reprogrammed to join the workforce of a planet that is having a labor shortage.
Janeway gets a real job
Enterprise – “North Star“
Perhaps one of the most Kirkesque episodes of any sequel show, this was oddly placed in the third season. Yet despite that, as a stand alone, it is a very good for discussing social stratification and shows the connection between education and work.
Howdy, need some help pardner
Movies – “Star Trek First Contact“
Although this film is all about Borg and action and revenge, there is one Star Trek moment when Picard has to explain to Lily how things work in the future when he tries to explain how the cost of the ship is not a factor, saying "The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We wish to better ourselves and the rest of humanity."
Excuse me? No money?
TrekMovie hopes you are having a nice day off this Labor Day