As we head into Labor Day weekend, we can't forget that the holiday originated to honor the American Labor Movement and the contributions that workers have made to the prosperity and well-being of our country. When the first Labor Day was declared in the late 1900’s, the average American worked 12-hour days, seven-days-a-week for a basic living. The holiday represented an opportunity for workers to stand up to abuse by employers and protest unsafe working conditions, long hours, poor wages and more.
Sure, it’s a treat to have a day off to celebrate the end of summer...but we can't lose sight of its origins, and that we still have a lot of work to do. "It’s no coincidence that our nation’s workers thrive when their unions are stronger. And it’s going to take all of us to keep the Labor Movement pushing forward for the prosperity of ALL American workers," says OCSEA President Chris Mabe.
Present day, public services continue to be slashed by states, while workers are called on to make do with less. But America's workers aren't taking it lying down. This year alone, we've seen a glimpse of what the new, young and powerful union movement can look like. From Arizona to West Virginia, worker uprisings have given voice and
hope to millions of public workers. "A tide is beginning to turn, but it will take each one of us to build a worker movement that will last for generations to come," said Mabe.
It's time to put "Labor" back in Labor Day! Join the revolution! Show your union pride at a Labor Day event near you this weekend.