Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day....9/7

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is sad that our companies have fixated on short-term gains which will have disasterous implications for the future. Part of the strategy is to screw the workers, hoping they will be too stupid to know better or powerless to do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

I personally earn below 30,000 per year. So when I hear the same old tired corporate speak of "......work harder, leaner, yada, yada, yada." While seeing those same upper echelons taking home huge bonuses, and trying to convince us, the workers that that paltry 3% raise they so grudgingly give, should make us ecstatic. NOT my friend, we the average American worker for the most part has earned it through due diligence, capability and loyalty to companies that simply don't view us as assets anymore. I wonder what would happen in this country if in one week of unified movement, no worker showed up for work. Think that they'd ship in workers from some foreign country? Perhaps not, however, the everyday employee simply doesn't realize what power they hold in their hands, it merely is a matter of unification. Fair is fair, but greed has cost us much! As evidenced by many upper echelons in corporate America.

Anonymous said...

11:13

There are those that remain with the hospital that are too stupid or powerless. I feel for the few that are powerless. The majority that are just too stupid need to realize that there is a big demand for nurses everywhere not just at this hospital. You can be treated better and make a decent wage elsewhere. If a few more had the intestinal fortitude to go elsewhere the hospital could be forced to be more responsive to the employees. The staff has to make a "stand". You do that by leaving together. Yeah right like that will ever happen. The employees are too scared to stick together. The company knows it. You get treated like shit and you do nothing about it. You get what you are willing to take. I left, thank god, and I am much better off for it.

Ozzie said...

A few years ago, one of the hospitals in Boston struck--Baptist, wasn't it? The biggest concern was the Filipino nurses couldn't understand the doctor's orders.

Wait until they hit East Texas accents....

Oh Yeah, they have...and the problems do exist....

ozzie said...

Yep, on the backs of the common man....

Anonymous said...

Well rumor has the Bogus Checks...er Bonus checks are a definite "GO" for the nurses. No word if any other PRMC employees will get one nor how much they will be....

Anonymous said...

From the story in the paper, things are going well. Congratulations - I thought it should come out that way. You certainly hired the right local lawyer. James is really sharp on the law and has brass balls.

Anonymous said...

Did someone here say a 3% raise. Wow, I don't know what department you are in, but you must be doing something right. Only a few received even a 2% in my department. Did I say a few already? Oh ok, I won't make it sound any worse than it is.

Anonymous said...

Brass balls are a good thing to have!