Labor Day celebrates the progress made by American workers

Local News

Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – For many, Labor Day is an excuse to do something fun and take advantage of a three day weekend but there is rich meaning behind the holiday.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the holiday is observed on the first Monday of September to celebrate the achievements of American workers.

Labor Day is typically celebrated in Eau Claire with a picnic and march organized by the West Central Area Labor Council. The event was canceled for the second year in a row because of the pandemic, though council president Philip Swanhorst said it is still important to consider the importance of workers and the impacts made by labor unions.

“Unions can provide labor rights for all who labor,” he said.

Over the years, labor unions have accomplished rights for workers including the five day work week, an eight hour work day, overtime pay and paid time off.

“These are benefits that labor unions have fought for over the years and it didn’t come without a cost,” Swanhorst said even workers that don’t belong to a union likely still enjoy some of the rights fought for by union leaders. “We should never fail to recognize that labor has given us so many things over the years that we should never take for granted.”

This Labor Day, he said its especially important to support the workers helping the nation through the pandemic.

“It is so important that last year and again this year to recognize the importance of our frontline workers and how critical they are during this pandemic era we have been living through to maintain a supply of good and services in our economy,” he said.

Labor unions continue to fight for workers’ rights including safety on the job and respect from management.

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