Labor Day is a national holiday in the US that falls on the first Monday of every September. For most, the holiday marks the last day of summer where most go out with friends and family to a barbecue. With nothing to do specifically this holiday is much more relaxed than other holidays in the US, letting American workers rest from their jobs.
Labor Day’s History
Even though Labor Day is a holiday in the US, the original founders of Labor Day had an entirely different plan in mind. In the late 1800’s the founders wanted a way to unify the union workers to focus on a reduced work time.
The city’s Central Labor Union was in crisis as many of the unions were splitting into smaller groups and could only cover a small portion of the workers. The Central Labor Union wanted to unify the different unions into one so they could work towards a common goal.
However, no government or business would let the workers off for the Monday. A quick solution was solved by having all the workers go on strike for one monday a year. All of the workers involved in the strike had to participate in food and drink with fellow workers, then following in a big parade.
The Reason Behind this Holiday
The people felt that they were working too many days for too many hours (average 60/hours/week). There were no protections for laborers working in unsafe conditions, no training, medical leave…it was brutal for the working man.
The politicians and business owners were in favor of giving workers more time off because a worker with no time off could not spend their money on entertainment that the companies produced. Shortening the work week would help change the Working Class into the Consuming Class. However, with the Unions left scrambled it was hard for the Working class to get help.
Labor day helped unify the Unions and 100 years later their goal has been achieved. The average hours worked in the early 1800 was 60 hours a week with it being around 40 hours a week, with most workers only working 5 days.
WIth less work, higher wages and protections families are able to spend more time together. God Bless the Working Man and Woman!!!