Labor Day: Beyond the Barbecues.

We’re getting ready for back to school and back yard barbecues just like everyone else. And with Labor Day just a moment away, we’re taking a little break from our usual labor. While we enjoy celebrating summer’s unofficial end with a burger and a beer just as much as the next guy, there’s definitely more to Labor Day than cookouts and department store sales. There is a history, a meaning behind the day, and there is a real purpose that it serves. 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*.

The labor movement gained popularity in the United Stated in the early to mid 19th century and was born out of the perceived need for working people to join together and campaign for better working conditions and treatment from their employers. It was from this movement that the trade union was born from the boom of industrial capitalism and the burgeoning socialist movement. This movement however sought to protect and strengthen the interests of the worker within the capitalist system, whereas the socialist movement sought to replace the capitalist system in its entirety.

In any case, it’s a far leap from the industrial revolution to sipping sangria with your neighbors by the pool as you usher out the summer and get ready for back to school. This week while we’re relaxing with our burgers and brews, we’ll be talking to our readers over on our Facebook page about the true meaning of the holiday. So, check in with us and share your opinion. Have a happy and safe Labor Day holiday!

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United States Department of Labor

Eatwell & Wright, Roger & Anthony (March 1, 1999). Contemporary Political Ideologies: Second Edition. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 83.

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