Labor Day: 125 Years Old, thank a union

Happy Labor Day!

Some fun facts about Labor Day, which is a 125 years old today.

From the Department of Labor:

  • 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.
  • The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. 
  • Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”
  • But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

Regardless of who founded the day, we know that unions played a key role.

Today, union membership remains low but support has increased.

Gallup Poll:
  • 64% of Americans approve of labor unions
  • Since 1970, higher only in 1999 (66%) and 2003 (65%)
  • Up 16 points from 2008, with party groups showing similar increases

The Trump administration even put together a video for us to watch. Of course, it’s all about the bigly things Trump has done for labor.

Trump even tweeted about Labor Day and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Enjoy the day off, the unofficial end of summer, and be safe!

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