Most of us are aware that Labor Day celebrates workers and their achievements. To many of us, it also symbolizes the unofficial end of summer, and the start of the school year. This Labor Day, I dug a bit deeper to get past the parades and potato salad to the origin of Labor Day.
The Origin of Labor Day
In the late 1800’s the average American worked 12-hour days, seven-days per week in order make enough money to survive. Children as young as 5 worked similar hours at a fraction of the pay. Working conditions were not always safe, and something as simple as fresh air, bathroom breaks and clean working conditions were rare. Labor Unions grew out of these working conditions, organizing strikes and rallies to protest the poor conditions and persuade employers to increase wages, reduce hours and improve working conditions.
On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. History. Twelve years later, a protest in Chicago at the Pullman Palace Car Company crippled railroad traffic nationwide, created unrest between the government and workers, and forcing Congress to pass an act, which was then signed in to law by President Grover Cleveland, making Labor Day a legal holiday.
Fun Fact – Why Monday?
Labor Day is part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968, which ensures several holidays are always observed on Monday’s, giving federal employees a long weekend. Labor Day is in good company with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day and Columbus Day.
We Appreciate Our Team!
We all owe a debt of gratitude to the men, and women, who demanded safe working conditions, livable wages, and didn’t stop pushing until they achieved their goal.
Our collective businesses: Component Engineering, TruPosition and Orka Automation, appreciate the talented teams we have in place. From designers to machine builders to project managers to sales – we are privileged to have smart individuals working with us to deliver quality solutions for customers. The roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work-to-solve-problems sort. We couldn’t do it without them, and we hope they know how much we appreciate them today, and every day. Today, we hope that they are enjoying time with their families and a relaxing long weekend.
John, John, Mike and Terry