Labor Day, for some, is just a day off of work. Unfortunately, like the commercialization of other holidays, many look at Labor Day as the last long weekend of summer, the kickoff of football season, and a time when children return to school in some form.
Labor Day should be a time of celebration by union and non-union workers alike. It is a type of Independence Day. Freedom from child labor and sweat shops. The ability to have a lunch break, weekends off, or an eight-hour workday. These benefits don’t exist because your boss likes you. These benefits exist due to the hard-fought battles that the U.S. labor movement engaged in.
In 1894, the U.S. Congress approved legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday. It was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland. Labor Day honors the contributions of working men and women to America’s social and economic life. The U.S. Department of Labor describes Labor Day this way. “...It constitutes a yearly tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” This Labor Day, enjoy the fruits of your labor and always remember our union forebears and the hard work they put forward for the many benefits we have today.
Jim and Lou Balog