Labor Day: What is it and why you should be thankful

The United States Department of Labor describes Labor Day as, “A creation of the labor movement,” which, “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Labor Day isn’t just a three-day weekend–it’s a celebration of the sacrifices made by countless activists so you and I could have better working conditions.

So what do you have to thank the labor movement for? I’ll make a sweeping generalization here and tell you that almost all pro-worker policies are a result of labor unions and labor activists (which included women, contrary to common history lessons). Here are ten things you can thank the labor movement for that President Obama covered in his  September 5th Weekly Address:

  1. The eight-hour workday
  2. 40-hour workweek
  3. Weekends
  4. Overtime
  5. The minimum wage
  6. Safer workplaces
  7. Health insurance
  8. Social Security
  9. Medicare
  10. Retirement plans

The labor movement continues today in spite of continued assaults on unions, but today is a hard-fought day for rest.

So, relax, kick back, and enjoy this day that activists earned for you.

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