Honor the power of collective action in the American Labor Movement!

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. On that Tuesday, 10,000 citizens marched for labor rights down the streets of Manhattan. During this time the average American worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. It wasn't until the Adamson Act passed on September 3, 1916 that our modern eight-hour workday was established.

Labor Day, in its current commercialized form, ironically causes some of the longest working hours for retail workers. Labor Day weekend is notorious for having crazy sales. But unfortunately, this means retail workers must work longer hours on a day specially dedicated to labor appreciation. In fact, many other professionals are expected to work on Labor Day as well, including correctional officers, police officials, firefighters, nurses, and more.

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration has been actively attacking organized labor. Trump said during the 2016 campaign that he supported a $10 federal minimum hourly wage, but since taking office he hasn’t sought any increase in the minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour. Instead, his administration has tried to limit worker pay. In April, the Labor Department ruled that workers for an unidentified cleaning company, and for similar businesses, were contractors rather than employees and therefore not entitled to be paid a minimum wage, receive overtime or have the company pay a portion of their Social Security taxes. This new rule followed on the heels of a new Labor Department program allowing employers to report their own violations of federal wage laws and to avoid penalties by paying workers the money they are owed. The program was created even though there is no evidence that clemency for delinquent companies will produce better results than punishing them.

And while the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said that federal law bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the Trump administration has, of course taken the opposite view.

Yes, they always do the worst thing possible.

ACTION: Today, only patronize unionized establishments!

How do you know if it’s a unionized establishment? There is no directory so plan ahead. Where do you plan to spend your money? Do a little online research. If you are already out, look for a sign and if you’re not sure, just ask.

Happy Labor Day to those privileged enough to have the day off!