Remembering what Labor Day is all about!

Posted Sep. 2, 2021 by

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.

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.

Promote the PRO Act

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!