Reflecting on Labor Day

Many Americans view Labor Day as the official end of summer, the start of the school year, and the beginning of the fall season.

During this time it is also important that we reflect back on the true meaning of Labor Day. Throughout our history, workers have had to fight for a livable wage, job security, health benefits, sick leave, vacations, retirement security and much more.

Workers are the backbone of this nation and of our economy. Without them, and without the hard fought achievements of the Labor Movement, we would not have many of the benefits that we take for granted today. Here are just a few things that we can all thank unions for:

  • Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Sick leave
  • Social Security
  • Civil Rights Act/Title VII – prohibits employer discrimination
  • Child labor laws
  • Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
  • Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Pensions
  • Workplace safety standards and regulations
  • Health care insurance
  • Collective bargaining rights for employees
  • Wrongful termination laws
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
  • Whistleblower protection laws
  • Sexual harassment laws
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
  • Privacy rights
  • Pregnancy and parental leave
  • Military leave
  • Public education for children
  • Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 – requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
  • Laws ending sweatshops in the United States

And make no mistake – without the continued efforts by those in the Labor Movement to maintain and strengthen these benefits, there are certain employers that would surely take them away.

So yes, do enjoy this upcoming Labor Day holiday. We urge you to cherish this time with your friends and loved ones.

But let us also remember the true meaning and origins of this important holiday, and continue to work with our brothers and sisters to support working families.

Happy Labor Day!