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Best wishes on Labor Day

IMG_4102Whether you’re celebrating at a picnic, barbecue, rally, football game, or work, happy Labor Day.

Sunday I went to our local Olympia Harbor Days celebration that’s always scheduled for Labor Day weekend. It was cloudy, so my photos aren’t as good as the years where there’s nice blue sky. Thankfully, we had only a sprinkle of rain. I wore my raincoat, but didn’t have my rain hood or umbrella.

On Labor Day, I’m thankful for unions and their history of helping working people. I benefited from union membership when I worked for state government. I’m glad these days more young people are interested in union membership.

The first Labor Day occurred in 1882 when workers gathered in New York City for a parade. In 1894, Congress officially made the first Monday in September Labor Day, a federal holiday.

September was selected because congressional leaders wanted a different date than May 1, which is International Workers’ Day, a date designated by an international federation of socialist groups and trade unions.

In the 1950s, 35 percent of the work force belong to unions, the all-time high. In 2022, 10 percent of workers were union members.

Part of President Biden’s agenda is to help working families. In his Labor Day proclamation, he said:

I have often said that the middle class built this country and that unions built the middle class. On Labor Day, we honor that essential truth and the dedication and dignity of American workers, who power our Nation’s prosperity. …

Trickle-down policies slashed investments in people and communities and allowed big corporations to amass more power while limiting the ability of workers to join unions. It did not matter where companies made things, as long as it helped their bottom line – even if it meant losing the very workers who had helped them succeed. Companies cut staff, shipped good jobs overseas, prioritized cheap labor, and silenced workers’ voices. …

I promised to be the most pro-union President in history, and I firmly believe that every worker in America should have the free and fair choice to join a union or organize and bargain collectively with their employer without coercion or intimidation. That is because when organized labor wins, our Nation wins. …

On Labor Day, we stand in solidarity with all the workers who lift our Nation to new heights and all the labor unions who give all workers power and voice. May we continue working to restore the American Dream for every person willing to work hard in our Nation by embracing what has always been the foundation of our country’s success: investing in America and American workers. …

So, on Labor Day, remember American workers and their contributions to this great country.

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