When Is Labor Day 2021?
Labor Day always falls on the first Monday of September, which means anywhere from September 1 to September 7. This year it is the U.S. And in Canada it is September 6. However, this is not the case for most countries – most of which celebrate May 1.
Founder of Labor Day
More than a century after the observance of the first Labor Day, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records suggest that Peter J., general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. McGuire was the first to suggest a day to honor those “who have carved and sculpted all things with a stern disposition. The magnificence we see.”
But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not remained unchanged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday.
Recent research supports the contention that Matthew Maguire, later local 344 secretary of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, NJ, proposed leave in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted the Labor Day resolution and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.
The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was observed on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City according to the plans of the Union Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday a year later, on September 5, 1883.
By 1894, 23 more states had accepted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday.
A Nationwide Holiday
The form in which the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the holiday’s first prelude – a street parade to demonstrate to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the community’s trade and labor organizations”, its A festival for the entertainment and entertainment of the latter workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebration of Labor Day.
Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed on the economic and civic importance of the holiday. Yet later, by a resolution of the 1909 American Federation of Labor Convention, the Sunday before Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
The nature of Labor Day celebrations has changed in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass demonstrations and huge parades have proven to be a problem. However, this change is more a change in the importance and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by prominent union officials, industrialists, teachers, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio and television.
The high standard of living and the vital force of labor that physically added to the world’s largest production ever brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. Therefore, it is fitting that the nation pays tribute to the American worker – the creator of so much strength, freedom and leadership of the country – on Labor Day.
What is the Haymarket affair?
On May 4, 1886 – at a time when most American workers worked 18 or even 20 hours a day – tens of thousands of workers protested in cities across America demanding an eight-hour workday. Police in Chicago attacked an activist planning both those peaceful protests and the meeting two days later, randomly beating and shooting the planning group, and killing six.
Chicagoans participated in an initially peaceful protest in Haymarket Square the next evening, with police again advancing on the crowd. The man, who has never been identified, detonated a bomb that killed a police officer, causing police to open fire on protesters and instigate violence that killed nearly a dozen activists and police.
The Pullman strike
Ironically, Chicago was also the setting for the bloody Pullman strike of 1894, which catalyzed the establishment of an official Labor Day holiday in the U.S. on the first Monday of September.
The strike took place in May in the company city of Pullman, Chicago, a factory location established by the Pullman Company, a luxury railroad car manufacturer. The disparity in the city was more than obvious. Company owner George Pullman lived in a mansion, while most of the workers lived in barracks-style dormitories. When a nationwide depression struck in 1893, Pullman decided to cut costs the way many executives of the time had done—by reducing wages by about 30%, while he hired his workers to pre-depression levels. The rent was kept on the hostels that took them.
These conditions eventually led the workers to strike on May 11, 1894. The walkout was supported by the nationwide American Railroad Union (ARU), which announced that ARU members would no longer operate on trains that included Pullman cars. That national boycott would bring railroads west of Chicago to a halt, and 125,000 workers from 29 railroad companies quit their jobs instead of breaking the boycott.
When the Chicago Railroad Companies hired strikebreakers as replacements, the strikers also took several actions to stop the trains. General Managers’ Association representing local rail companies Attorney General Richard Olney, a former railroad attorney, to intervene. Indianapolis federal courts gave Olney an injunction against the strike, a move that allowed President Grover Cleveland to send Confederate troops to break it up.
A few days later, Cleveland realized that it had to act quickly to appease the country’s increasingly agitated labor movement. But he didn’t want to miss the Haymarket incident with the May holiday, which would invoke radical activist sentiment. So Cleveland withdrew the first established September 1882 holiday and signed into law that the U.S. Labor Day will be celebrated on the first Monday of September.
Labor Day Vs. May Day
Communist and socialist factions around the world eventually chose 1 May as the date to mark the Haymarket affair. A 1904 convention issued a petition demanding that trade unions stage rallies on the first day of May – demanding the eight-hour workday be standardized. He organized the action in the name of “universal peace”. “May 1 is a national, public holiday in many countries around the world, commonly known as “Labor Day,” “International Workers’ Day” or a similar name – although some countries observe other dates. Celebrate Labor Day for those who are important, such as Canada, which, like the United States, celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September.
Here’s the U.S. Department of Labor’s official tribute to U.S. workers on Labor Day:
“The vital force of labor has materially added to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever produced, and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is, therefore, appropriate that the nation labor On this day, pay tribute to the American worker – the creator of so much strength, freedom and leadership of the nation.”
Labor Day S Around The World
|France||Fete du Travail||Celebrating workers’ contributions to society.||May 1, 2020|
|Germany||Tag der Arbeit||Germany’s observance of Tag der Arbeit dates back to 1886 America, when a strike involving thousands of workers at Haymarket Square in Chicago began over calls for the legal establishment of an eight-hour work day.||May 1, 2020|
|Italy||Festa dei Lavoratori||Celebrates the “working class.” Schools and banks close. Citizens take part in festivals, parades, and rituals celebrating workers’ rights and freedoms.||May 1, 2020|
|Poland||Labour Day||Originally a tribute to socialism, Labour Day in Poland has lost much of its meaning. However, workers still get a day off!||May 1, 2020|
|Spain||Día del Trabajador||Changes to accommodate current political/economic climate. All schools and most businesses are closed, while restaurants, museums, and theaters usually stay open.||May 1, 2020|
Labor Day By The Numbers
162 million – the number of Americans (over 16) in the labor force.
40% – the percentage of U.S. workers who belonged to labor unions in the 1950s (that dropped to 11% by 2018).
1894 – the year Congress officially made Labor Day a federal holiday.
86% – the percentage of Americans planning Labor Day weekend travel who will do so by car.
41% – the percentage of Americans who plan to barbecue over Labor Day Weekend.
818 – the number of U.S. hot dogs eaten every second from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
$685 – the average kid’s back-to-school expenses.
$55,000 – the median U.S. household income.
705 million – the total number of U.S. unused vacation days (2017).
80% – the percentage of Americans who would take time off if their boss were more supportive.