September 4, 2016
By Susan Miller
...Labor Day (click here) for many is all about a last blast at the beach with family and friends, backyard barbecues, school retail bonanzas and the grudging realization that sun-soaked play days are no more.
But the day has a deeper meaning and marks a pivotal moment in U.S. labor history — and it had a pretty violent start.
In the late 1800s, the state of labor was grim as U.S. workers toiled under bleak conditions: 12 or more hour workdays; hazardous work environments; meager pay. Children, some as young as 5, were often fixtures at plants and factories.
The dismal livelihoods fueled the formation of the country’s first labor unions, which began to organize strikes and protests and pushed employers for better hours and pay. Many of the rallies turned violent.
On Sept. 5, 1882 — a Tuesday — 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in a parade from City Hall to Union Square in New York City as a tribute to American workers. Organized by New York’s Central Labor Union, It was the country’s first unofficial Labor Day parade. Three years later, some city ordinances marked the first government recognition, and legislation soon followed in a number of states....
I will not be addressing any more topics until Tuesday.
Happy Labor Day!