It’s been 133 years since the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in New York City in 1882. The celebration of a workers’ holiday, with help from the labor movement, later spread to other states and eventually became a national, legal holiday.
This year as we celebrate working men and women who have contributed to the prosperity, strength, and well-being of our country, AFGE urges everyone to also celebrate Labor Day with an act of solidarity with fellow workers because their work makes our work possible. A nurse relies on researchers and electricians, who need food inspectors and engineers, who need plumbers and construction workers, who need retail workers and doctors, who need teachers and taxi drivers, who need automakers and road safety specialists, who need restaurant workers and flight attendants, who need airport security screeners and air traffic controllers. The list goes on. We are intrinsically connected and our support for each other only helps move all of us forward.
In a newly released video celebrating Labor Day, nine AFGE leaders sound off on what solidarity means to them.
“Solidarity is listening carefully to other people and what their interest and concerns are,” says Carolyn Federoff.
“The ‘We, Not Me’ mentality. That’s the solidarity that I believe in,” Julian Patrick chimes in.
“When you separate, you don’t have as much power. When you stand together united, you are a very powerful force,” adds Shawn Moran.
Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It is also the day to celebrate some of the labor movements’ major accomplishments on behalf of all American workers: Eight-hour work day. Weekends without work. Lunch breaks. Minimum wage. Sick leave. Paid vacation. Child labor laws. Workers’ compensation. Workplace safety and regulations. Employer health care insurance. Pensions. Overtime pay.
Make this Labor Day an opportunity to reach out and show solidarity with your union brothers and sisters to advance workers’ rights. No matter what we do, our work makes other workers’ lives better. In Solidarity!