Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Labor Day? Well it all goes back to the 1800s and more specifically to the Second Industrial Revolution. During this time period, Americans saw the rapid growth of oil, steel, and electric companies. The rapid growth was in large part attributed to the rise of factories. Although the creation of factories was important for the growth, the factory workers within those industries were really the catalyst. 

Throw a Party to Avoid a Revolution?

A lot of the factory workers in those industries were working under extremely hard conditions. They were working long hours and they were often subjected to serious injuries like loss of limbs and loss of life as well. Probably due to an increasing fear that factory workers would revolt against the unsafe working conditions, a group of people decided it would be a good idea to “celebrate” workers and to let them know that their sacrifices were appreciated.  Which led to the creation of Labor Day. 

Is Essential Workers’ Day on the Horizon?

Today, there is an interesting parallel between the origins of Labor Day and how Americans have treated essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential workers are risking their lives daily to help provide medical care and stock grocery store shelves so the economy can stay afloat. And just like factory workers in the Second Industrial Revolution, few people care enough to actually provide protection by law or proper personal protective equipment.  

A Long Way to Go

In times like now, it’s just important to remember that we still have a long way to go fight for employee rights and for worker rights in this country. We should continue to fight, even as we remember the contributions that they’ve made to ensure we are taken care of.

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James J. Hux is the Owner and Sole Attorney at Hux Law Firm, LLC. His practice areas include employment discrimination and general civil litigation throughout the State of Ohio.