Labor Day Plans

RECEIVED Fri., Sept. 4, 2020

Dear Editor,
    Though Americans take great pride in our work, we will never complain about a day off, especially when that day is paid. So when Labor Day rolls around each September, Americans are happy to skip their morning commutes and take some much needed time to decompress and catch up on life outside of the workplace.
    Most of us are used to having this extra Monday to ourselves; we rarely stop to think about why Labor Day is even an established holiday to begin with. With that in mind, let’s take a moment to reflect on the history of this celebration.
    It all started during the Industrial Revolution. Many Americans were working 12-hour workdays, seven days a week for wages that scarcely covered bare necessities. Working conditions were grim, and nothing was stopping factories and mills from putting children to work.
    Tired of the squalor and lack of dignity in their work, workers across the country got together to demand higher wages and safer working conditions. On September 5, 1882, the first Labor Day parade took place in New York City. As the cause of these workers made it into the public eye, working conditions slowly began to improve. On June 28, 1894, President Cleveland made Labor Day a national holiday. Since then, even more strides have been made for the American worker, by the American worker.
    So on Labor Day, before you kick your feet up and soak up some sun (or catch some z’s), I’d encourage you to spend some time thinking about the origins of this “workingmen’s holiday” and those brave workers who fought for greater workplace freedom.
    To stand in solidarity with American workers of the past and present, I’ll be using September 7th as a day to celebrate Americans. No politics, no fighting, no division - just celebration. There is a campaign already underway for this, Pause Politics, with plenty of ideas on how to make the most of your celebration. Be sure to check it out and join me in celebrating the fruits of our labor.
Eber Rodriguez
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