What is labor day?
Unlike Christmas which always falls on December 25, or Valentine’s Day that always falls on February 14, Labor Day does not have a certain date, though it does have a specific day. Labor Day always falls on the first Monday in September. In addition to being a day off from work, school and a symbolization of the end of summer, oftentimes people do not exactly know what Labor Day is.
Labor Day what is it?
The easy definition of Labor Day is proudly displayed on the Department of Labor (DOL) website and it states “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
Let’s face it, workers are what makes the United States unique; workers in the US have high productivity, make products and provide services to our nation. Workers are responsible for roads, bridges and buildings that allow us to work each day as well as get from one place to another with ease.
History of Labor Day
While New York was the first state to introduce a bill recognizing worker’s on Labor Day, the first state to actually pass legislation was Oregon. Soon after this bill passed in February of 1887, other states including New York, Massachusetts, Colorado and New Jersey. In June of 1894, Congress passed legislation making the first Monday in September a legal holiday in the United States including the District of Columbia.
Changing face of Labor Day
Over the years, Labor Day celebrations have run the gamut of celebrations. In earlier times, large parades were held to celebrate workers. Today, it is far more common for labor leaders and others to recognize the contributions of the American worker by making speeches that are aimed at recognizing the contributions of the American worker. Typically, these speeches are heavily covered by the media.
In 2012, Labor Day will be celebrated on September 3. With high unemployment, worker’s rights under attack in many states and record low union participation, this years Labor Day will likely have special significance to not only American workers, but also to the unions who represent them.
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