This is the Labor Day message sent out by Muskovitz and Lemmerbrock, the law firm which has advised our chapter at Wright State ever since it was formed almost two decades ago:
“Labor Day is a day to celebrate working men and women and their efforts to secure workplace rights and better working conditions, and is a steadfast symbol of the movement’s dedication.
“Labor Day was first celebrated on September 5, 1882, in New York City, coordinated by the Central Labor Union. After a couple years of the group celebrating Labor Day in New York, the Central Labor Union urged labor organizations in other cities to likewise celebrate a ‘workingmen’s holiday’ on the first Monday in September. In 1885, several labor organizations in industrial centers across the country celebrated Labor Day.
“Over the next 10 years, as Labor Day celebrations by working men and women continued to expand, states began to slowly but surely recognize Labor Day as a holiday in honor of workers. In 1890, Ohio enacted legislation recognizing the first Monday in September as Labor Day. The legislation was sponsored by Representative John Patterson Green, a Republican from Cleveland.
“A few years later, in 1894, fearing a backlash from organized labor after 12,000 federal troops were called in to break up a strike against the Pullman Railway Company and two workers were killed, President Grover Cleveland signed legislation recognizing Labor Day as a federal holiday (Cleveland still lost the Presidential election that year).
“Today, Labor Day stands as a symbol of the strength and perseverance of organized labor in the fight to improve the lives of working men and women. On Labor Day, remember that you are a part of that movement and continue the work of those who came before us and shaped a national holiday through their struggle and dedication.”
A somewhat fuller history of the holiday has been published by Business Insider and is available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-americans-dont-work-on-labor-day-2015-9?utm