Many of believe that Labor Day is just another day off. Some believe it is the official end of many summer festivities. But Labor Day does have some real value. It's the day that we honor the ordinary Joe who goes to work every day of the week. The person who keeps things running in spite of everything that is going against them.
The first Monday of September was chosen by Grover Cleveland to honor the workers of America during a railroad strike. And since then it's become a fixture in American life.
But it is actually a holiday that everyone who is employed takes for granted. It celebrates the hard work of unions who have assured that we have a safer and more manageable workplace.
I have my problems with unions, but I can't deny that they have their place in many workplaces. Unions ushered in the 5 day 40 hour a week work standard that we all cherish. Until labor unions pushed for this the average work day was 12 hours a day seven days a week for the average worker. If you've ever worked this work schedule, you know that this literally means that your life revolves around your job. Thank you unions for establishing the 40 hour work week.
The other reason we celebrate Labor Day is it celebrates the limits on child labor in our country. It wasn't too far in the our nations history's past that children were also working those long hours at factories.
As I mentioned before Labor Day also is a day that we should be reminded how much safer the average workplace is. Without the recognition by the general public standards for things we take for granted at work would not even be there. You know things like fire exits and drinking water are all things that the labor movement assured that individuals are provided in their workplace.
So while I have many disagreements with the many labor unions today. I am thankful that they exist, and I am thankful that they fought hard to make my workplace a safer and healthier place to work. And that's why I believe we celebrate Labor Day.
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