Monday, September 1, 2008

The History of Labor Day

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

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 "working men'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.

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.

Resource: U.S. Department of Labor at,


Anonymous said...

Andy Lessin started out as a dockworker. How does he act now? Shame on you Andy!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice history lesson! I'm very impressed with us as a nation when I read things like that!

Who the hell is Andy Lessin? One of those scumbags at Whittier? It's amazing how corrupt people become when they think in terms of, "I got mine."

Anonymous said...

Here is another SLAP in the face for all of us. Everyone should have recived the Annual Report 2008book in the mail. Look at page
61 and read it for youself EMPLOYEES UNDER COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ARRANGEMENTS, The Pilots are in the "UNION" and our great Ceo's have taken MONEY from us to PAY them. Signing Bonuses of appx $143 Million AND Pay Increases And other Benefit Enhancements. These costs $$ were partially mitigated by "REDUCTIONS" in the Variable Incentive Compensation of our "OTHER Employees", Sounds like VPEP to me. They Robbed peter That's us to Pay Paul, These ceo's will do whatever they can to keep their Millions while they take away from us. UNITED WE BARGAIN FOLKS, LETS START SIGNING THOSE CARDS BEFOR THEY TAKE SOME MORE.

Anonymous said...

Seattle Tacoma an Evratte Washington our fed up like every one else. We have had four or five union meadings already. We all are getting very close to sighning cards.Its pretty funny when you here managment say we our number one but get treaded like where not even in the running.When i started here all you hered was how every one liked it here an now all you here is how every one hates it.You wouled think you CEO that are suppose to be so bright couled see that you are about to run this company in to a brick wall.Remember good employes is what built this company,not managers that lie.

Anonymous said...

It is a fact Andy has betrayed our trust several times and now with the Union now finally coming in his dishonest manipulation of our workforce is now coming to an end.

Anonymous said...

At FedEX it just proves that Union Representation the Pilot have gets the respect of the company. At least the rest of the employees get the shaft. That is something, but it's all about what you want. Vote TEAMSTER Representation and get RESPECT, or do nothing and get the SHAFT! It's a simple question most of us can answer.

Anonymous said...

Andy Lessin is letting the folks back east railroad us over and take our benefits. Although who can blame him? He is looking out for number one just like he always has.