To celebrate the women and men in the American workforce, TFCU will be closed Monday, September 7th and will return on Tuesday, September 8th. Labor Day may mean a day off work for some, the end of summer for others, or maybe it means the beginning of the football season to you. Do you know what it meant 120 years ago when it became a federal holiday on June 28, 1894? If not, here is the scene.
- From 1880 to 1900, American workers held over 20,000 strikes. That is almost three strikes a day! What might cause this unrest?
- The typical worker scratched a living by working 12 hour days, seven days a week, often in unsafe conditions. This included men, women, and children.
- September 5, 1882 – often called America’s “First Labor Day.” A parade in New York, organized by Matthew Maguire, with a marching band and more than 10,000 workers advocated an eight hour work day.
- February 21, 1887 – Oregon became the first state to pass legislature acknowledging Labor Day. Before it became a national holiday, 31 other states adopted the trend.
- President Cleveland’s draft of the Labor Day declaration gave credit to our innovator, Matthew Maguire. But even he was too radical for the leader of the American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers, who gave credit to another important figure, his friend, Peter McGuire. We often refer to Peter McGuire as the “Father of Labor Day.”
- Even after Labor Day became nationally recognized, unrest continued. It was not until the Adamson Act of 1916 that the eight hour work day became mandated.
- In 1936, GM “management hired lip readers to watch the [workers] talk to each other, so they could tell if they were talking union.” – Genora Dollinger during the GM Sit Down Strikes
- In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially created weekends with the Fair Labor Standards Act!
Thanks to all those who turned the American job into the American Dream!
Tucson Federal Credit Union