Americans look at Labor Day in many ways. As a three-day weekend, the end of summer, back to school, or the start of the ‘political season’. No matter what your plans, take a few minutes to consider why we celebrate Labor Day.
The original intent of Labor Day was to provide a holiday to honor the social, technical, and economic achievements of American workers and their unions. It was intended to be, and in many ways remains, an annual national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our nation.
And Labor Day 2016 is an excellent opportunity to honor the cornerstone of worker’s rights – the National Labor Relations Act(NLRA).
Signed into law in 1935 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of the “New Deal”, the NLRA gave working people the opportunity to stand together and organize for better wages and working conditions. It created the National Labor Relations Board, an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights.
Throughout its history, the NLRA has proven itself to be the great equalizer in the fight for a balanced economy that works for everyone.
It’s encouraging that those who feel the economic deck is stacked against them are starting to get the message that a government that cares about working people can level the playing field.
It’s also become clear that organizing or joining a union makes a real difference. It’s more than dollars and cents, it’s a voice on the job and the health care and retirement security workers and their families deserve.
A recent poll found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans say they have a positive view of labor unions, the highest approval rate since 2008.
And that’s something to celebrate.
Happy Labor Day.