What is Labor Day?

What is Labor Day?

Labor Day is near, meaning that you’re able to begin to plan to take a long weekend off and take a break from working. This is also an opportunity to honor the work that people contributed to the development of our nation. Federal holidays that falls on the Monday that is September’s first day of work and is observed by the closing of courts, schools and work places.

As per the U.S. Department of Labor The day has been “dedicated to the economic and social achievements that have been achieved by American workers. This holiday is a annual national celebration to honor the contributions workers make for the success, stability and overall well-being of the nation.” Advocates for the rights of workers are improving the lives of many working Americans by urging for more robust legislation on labor as well as effective unions.

Its History of Labor Day

Labor Day came to be at the peak of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s after a lengthy effort by the people who were part of the movement for labor. In the United States labor movement grew due to the need to defend American working people’s common rights. They also sought to eliminate child labor, give workers with health insurance, as well as implement the workers’ compensation system and retirement benefits.

The movement began during the colonial period of late and the first documented strike taking place in the year 1786. The establishment of the Federal Society of Journeymen Cordwainers in 1794 was the first step of a long-lasting unionization process for American workers. The quick history of labor’s movement is that they was started by forming trade unions, but then grew to include the entire spectrum of labor within the fight for fair and equal working conditions.

The Maguire/McGuire Debate

The origin of Labor Day is often credited to Peter J. McGuire, who proposed the concept in workers of the New York Central Labor Union on May 12th 1882. McGuire was the founder of in 1882 the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and along alongside Samuel Gompers, was a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the other organisations that began organizing strikes in 1886 as well as 1890. The efforts of McGuire are believed to have influenced today’s working conditions like working hours of 8 hours on average and five-day working week.

There is evidence lately to suggest that Matthew Maguire (note the difference in spelling) could be the real the father of Labor Day. Maguire was believed as a leader of numerous strikes in the 1870s. He was one of the most prominent leaders in the New York Central Labor Union and proposed Labor Day celebrations in the same year. In contrast, Gompers believed because of Maguire’s more “radical” opinions on politics that he shouldn’t be a part of any association in the labor movement nor Labor Day. Therefore, when he was later interviewed she attributed the very first Labor Day celebrations in the early days to Peter J. McGuire.

The Pullman Strike

One of the most significant ignitions that led to the nation’s celebration of work was the Pullman strike, which culminated with bloodshed, leaving more than 30 workers were killed and a lot more wounded. The year 1893 was the time George Pullman laid off many of Pullman Palace Car Company employees and cut their wages for the left — but without cutting the cost of rent or stores in the town he owned.

In 1894, the last Pullman employees organized a walkout that was backed by the American Railway Union and led to the complete shutdown of rail traffic in 27 states. The strike prompted the General Managers Association to seek help from the federal government in order to prevent the strike.

The 29th of June an unrest-inducing speech prompted U.S. Attorney General Richard Olney to seek an injunction to stop the strikers and their members. In the aftermath of the order and a warrant for the injunction, the National Guard (under orders from the president Grover Cleveland) descended upon Chicago which sparked the Pullman strike to escalate into a bloody massacre on July 7th in 1894.

The tragic events that was the Pullman Strike led the president Cleveland as well as Congress to establish Labor Day as a legal holiday which was observed on the first Monday of September. It didn’t have any bearing on the holidays from work.

Labor Day Celebrations

The very first Labor Day holiday was celebrated by a parade on September. 5th, 1882 within New York City, and it became a federal celebration in 1894 on the 28th of June. However, by that time there were other cities as well as states had already been celebrating Labor Day in early September from the very first Labor Day parade. In the end in 1968, it was the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 established the current 3 day Labor Day weekend along with Columbus Day, Memorial Day and Washington’s Birthday.

Labor Day is often marked with parades, speeches barbeques, parades and many other events. For sports enthusiasts, Labor Day marks the start of college and professional football seasons. For the rest of us Americans the holiday is seen as the official end of summer. School starting at the same time. If you’re planning your personal Labor Day celebrations, remember the reason you’re having a celebration.

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