On this holiday, it’s important to remember the role of America’s workers. Without the labor of millions, this country’s natural resources would bring few of the blessings most of us take for granted.
Over the years, any number of polls have shown shifting public attitudes toward labor unions. But most Americans understand that, whatever their current views of organized labor, they owe a great deal to the labor movement. Working men and women made this country great. And it became a great place for most workers largely through the unions.
On Labor Day, the contributions of American unions deserve to be celebrated, as they have for more than a century. It was 107 years ago that President Grover Cleveland declared the September holiday.
In the decades that followed, the labor movement achieved victory with livable wages. Unions also fought to protect workers from dangerous conditions. Long hours gave way to eight-hour days and 40-hour work weeks, leaving time for families. Unions didn’t do all that alone, naturally. Fair-minded employers played their parts as well.
American workers have achieved wonders for the nation and even the world. As we take a day of rest, we can celebrate the results of our own hard work and that of millions of other men and women over the years.