Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day 2008

Labor Day was first celebrated in 1882 and became a national holiday in 1894, but sometimes we forget that it means more than just watermelon, barbecues, and beer. Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is a national celebration dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

We have set aside this day to honor the working men and women whose energy, talent, creativity, and determination are the foundations of freedom and prosperity enjoyed by generations of Americans and who fought to bring justice and dignity to the workplace.

Yet, we must not become self-satisfied or complacent. As we celebrate Labor Day, let us recommit ourselves to raising the minimum wage to a living wage, to promoting training and continuing education for workers, to providing affordable health care to every family, to organizing all workers, to demanding equal pay for women and fair pay for everyone, and to building a stronger national community.

We must continue to recognize the importance of maintaining dignity, securing economic justice in the workplace, making the American Dream a reality for all our people, and building a brighter future for our children.

The vital force of labor has brought us closer to the realization of our ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation and our state pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

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