Sweatshops, child labor, 12-hour workdays, and seven-day work weeks in unsafe and unsanitary working conditions for meager wages led workers to start a movement - a movement that would lead to landmark changes in workplace rights.
On this Labor Day, we pause to honor the labor movement and workers responsible for the economic strength and prosperity of this country. Unfortunately, the causes working people were fighting for a century ago haven’t been realized – at least not for everyone. We pick up their torch and continue the fight for workers’ rights.
Key Dates in Labor Day History
September 5, 1882: The first Labor Day parade in the United States took place when over ten thousand workers took off of work without pay and marched in solidarity from City Hall to Union Square for better pay and working conditions.
May 11, 1894: Workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on a historic strike to address workplace concerns. The strike would result in a clash with federal and state troops that resulted in the deaths and injuries of workers.
June 28, 1894: Weeks after the start of the Pullman Palace Car Company strike, President Cleveland signed a bill into law officially making Labor Day a federal holiday.
September 3, 1916: The Adamson Act established our modern eight-hour workday.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938: This Act established a national minimum wage, guaranteed “time-and-a-half” overtime pay, and landmark child labor laws.
September 3, 1991: A fire in a chicken processing plant in Hamlet, NC caused the death of 25 workers and injured 55 making the incident one of the greatest workplace tragedies in our state’s history.
February 19, 2013: North Carolina drew national criticism when former Governor McCrory signed a GOP bill into law that slashed unemployment benefits during a recession while the state was experiencing one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates. This tragic decision continues to harm working families during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
Your VOTE determines what happens next.
November 3, 2020: North Carolina changes the course of our state’s anti-worker Department of Labor by electing a Labor Commissioner who will work with employers and employees to ensure fair wages and safe and healthy work environments.
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Committee to Elect Jessica Holmes
P.O. Box 10391
Raleigh, NC 27605
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