As we approach Labor Day on the heels of the Republican Convention, we should exuberantly celebrate the significance of this holiday.
Over a hundred years ago, the labor movement dedicated the first Monday in September, Labor Day, to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. On June 28, 1897, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday to focus on the significant economic and civic contributions of organized labor to our country.
Around the country, prominent leaders attend labor picnics and events to extoll labor’s contributions. Yet, at the Republican Convention, labor unions and hard-working Americans were scapegoated as obstructionists.
How quickly they forget that organized labor helped raise America’s standard of living and brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy.
So this Labor Day, take a moment to reflect on the contribution of the American labor movement and remind those who criticize unions that organized labor was the vital force that demanded safe working conditions, decent wages, retirement with dignity, basic healthcare, social security, civil rights, Medicare, aid to education and the end to child labor.
Organized labor is responsible for raising America’s standard of living for all workers and creating the greatest economy the world has ever known. It is appropriate, therefore, that our nation pays tribute to the creators of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom and leadership: American Workers and Unions.