Remembering what Labor Day is all about
Labor Day is observed on the first Monday in September to pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of everyday working families. It is also a powerful reminder of the importance of what can be accomplished when working people have the freedom to come together in a union and have a real voice on the job.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. Following the deaths of 13 workers during the Pullman Strike in June of 1894, President Grover Cleveland made reconciliation with the labor movement a top political priority, and Labor Day become a federal holiday in 1894. While the world and work has changed significantly over the past 130 years (thanks, in part, to union rights on the job!), the need for a collective strength, especially in our ever-changing world and workplaces, is needed now more than ever.
What do Labor Unions and their members fight for?
- Increasing wages
- Raising the standard of living for the working class
- Ensuring safe working conditions
- Increasing benefits for both workers and their families
In addition to building power for working people and advocating for economic justice, being in a union also gives workers a platform to talk about the future of work. For public employees here in Ohio this means not being locked out of conversations on telework and increased safety on the job. This has been especially dire during this pandemic, as employers continue to push back against doing what's right or think they can just throw rules out the window. For union members who have seen the landscape of their workplace change over the past two years and more, a union contract serves as an invaluable tool and guide. The value of a union contract is not only true during the darkest of times but anytime workers are faced with transition or change.
Attend a Labor Day event near you
Want to get out and celebrate the power of being union this Labor Day? There are many events taking place across Ohio this weekend:
- Marietta Parade – Saturday, Sept. 4
- Portsmouth Parade – Saturday, Sept. 4
- Labor Day Rally at Lakewood Park (Cleveland) with special guest Congressman Tim Ryan – Saturday, Sept. 4 | See Flier
- AFL-CIO Night at Akron Rubber Ducks – Sunday night, Sept. 5 | Get Tickets | See Flier
- Toledo Parade/Picnic – Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6
- Newark Parade – Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6 | RSVP
- Mansfield Parade – Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6
- Lima Parade – Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6
- Barberton Parade – Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6 | RSVP
Feel safer staying at home this holiday weekend? From our favorite movies to delicious union-made grilling recipes, Union Plus has everything you need to make your Labor Day weekend safe, celebratory, and fun at home. Read more HERE.
Join union history webinar: Honoring Past Labor and Building an Equitable Future
Join our national union, AFSCME, to explore our union history. The webinar "Union History: Honoring Past Labor and Building an Equitable Future" will take place Thursday, Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. The online event will explore consistent themes and patterns throughout our shared history and how we can connect the past to the present to build a stronger and more inclusive labor movement.
Go HERE to register for the webinar. Your AFSCME Member ID is required to sign up. If you do not know your AFSCME ID, click the Contact Us button in registration to reach out to AFSCME for assistance. OCSEA Central Office does not have access to AFSCME Membership ID numbers.
Want to learn more about Labor History? Text HISTORY to 22555, and the AFL-CIO will send bimonthly labor history updates right to your phone. Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Reply STOP to opt-out. The AFL-CIO will text you approximately once a month.
Promoting the Power of the PRO Act this Labor Day
What do unions mean to members across this country? It means having power on the job, and that means earning a fair share for the work we do and taking a stand when we see worker injustices. Millions of working people want—and deserve—the rights and respect that come with a union card, but can't because of outdated labor laws or fear of employer intimidation and threats.
Nearly half of all nonunion workers
—more than 60 million people—
would join a union today if given the chance.
The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act will finally level the playing field and empower working people. This Labor Day, let's celebrate workers by telling the Senate to pass the PRO Act and return power to the hands of workers. Learn more and take action!