This year will mark 134 years since the first Labor Day parade was held. In New York City, on September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Union Station. It was no paid holiday, but they did it to honor their fellow workers and to air some grievances with employers. Though more states held these parades over the coming years, it wasn’t until 1894 that Congress established Labor Day as a federal holiday. Unfortunately, it took blood being spilled to get them to do this. Continue reading
I know it’s a day early, but it’s just a short video on Labor Day, from the History Channel, so take a few minutes to watch it. I’ll wait!
Hey, isn’t it AWESOME that the State of Oregon was the first to legalize Labor Day as a holiday in 1887? I’m not sure I’ve said this before, but I love Oregon!!
Labor unions fought hard for the workers, and we can thank them for the eight-hour work day, weekends, better wages, safer working conditions, pensions, and more.
Unfortunately, corporate America/the ruling class/the 1% succeeded in making “union” a dirty word, and pitted workers against one another to help them forget that unions protect the workers themselves, and severely diminished unions in this country.
So enjoy your day off on Monday, even if you have to hit the mall for back to school supplies, but while you’re there, spare a thought for those who worked so hard to get you that day off — and all your other days off.
This is our daily open thread — Talk among yourselves.
Labor Day – (from Wikipedia)
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September (September 6 in 2010).
The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. Cleveland was also concerned that aligning an American labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair. By the 20th century, all 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday.
Labor Unions – How Unions Help All Workers (from a 2003 study)
Unions have a substantial impact on the compensation and work lives of both unionized and non-unionized workers. This report presents current data on unions’ effect on wages, fringe benefits, total compensation, pay inequality, and workplace protections.
Some of the conclusions are:
• Unions raise wages of unionized workers by roughly 20% and raise compensation, including both wages and benefits, by about 28%.
• Unions reduce wage inequality because they raise wages more for low- and middle-wage workers than for higher-wage workers, more for blue-collar than for white-collar workers, and more for workers who do not have a college degree.
• Strong unions set a pay standard that nonunion employers follow. For example, a high school graduate whose workplace is not unionized but whose industry is 25% unionized is paid 5% more than similar workers in less unionized industries.
• The impact of unions on total nonunion wages is almost as large as the impact on total union wages.
• The most sweeping advantage for unionized workers is in fringe benefits. Unionized workers are more likely than their nonunionized counterparts to receive paid leave, are approximately 18% to 28% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance, and are 23% to 54% more likely to be in employer-provided pension plans.
• Unionized workers receive more generous health benefits than nonunionized workers. They also pay 18% lower health care deductibles and a smaller share of the costs for family coverage. In retirement, unionized workers are 24% more likely to be covered by health insurance paid for by their employer.
• Unionized workers receive better pension plans. Not only are they more likely to have a guaranteed benefit in retirement, their employers contribute 28% more toward pensions.
• Unionized workers receive 26% more vacation time and 14% more total paid leave (vacations and holidays).
Unions play a pivotal role both in securing legislated labor protections and rights such as safety and health, overtime, and family/medical leave and in enforcing those rights on the job. Because unionized workers are more informed, they are more likely to benefit from social insurance programs such as unemployment insurance and workers compensation. Unions are thus an intermediary institution that provides a necessary complement to legislated benefits and protections.
Reasons why Republicans hate unions: All of the above bullet points.
This is our Open Thread. Speak Up!