Labor Day is a time to acknowledge the hard work and contributions that those before us have made to our modern factories, offices, and stores. But why do we have this lovely end-of-summer holiday? What are we actually celebrating at the annual barbeque?
In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, the average American worked 12-hour days, seven day weeks, just in order to earn a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 worked in mills, factories, and mines across the country while earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages.
During this time, labor unions started organizing strikes and rallies to protest unsafe working conditions, and push employers to renegotiate hours and pay.
On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the nation’s first Labor Day parade. The idea of a “workingman’s holiday” caught on and was legalized by Congress 12 years later.
Fast forward to today: Monday, September 2, 2019. Much has changed, but we still have work to do.
While conditions have certainly improved, employers are still facing a talent shortage and are struggling to find skilled workers. A major bright spot however can be found in veterans – the people who fight to keep us safe and come home with the skills every employer desires.
In our experience working closely with veterans since 2013, they can handle almost any task thrown at them, and then some. Need something done on a tight timeline? Or to reign in a project that is trending over budget? Consider hiring a veteran.
While Labor Day is not necessarily a military holiday, it’s important to remind employers about the value our veterans can bring. They show leadership when others can’t make decisions, and always do work that is on time and on budget.
As you enjoy your barbeque with friends, family, and neighbors, take time to remember all the sacrifices and contributions that those before us have made – both in the name of freedom and in the name of a safer and more productive working world.