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What is Labor Day and Why Do Americans Celebrate It?

04 September 2017

It was originally meant to be a day of street parades to celebrate the work of trade and labor organisations. While most of the countries have worker's day or labour day as a public holiday, other countries choose to celebrate the date while working. While many countries follow the date was chosen by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties for labour day celebrations, in other countries Labour Day is celebrated on a different date, often one with special significance for the labour movement in that country.

Labor Day is considered the last day it's socially acceptable to wear white or seersucker.

Following the example of MA, which requires time-and-a-half overtime pay for work on Sundays, they can require premium pay for workers who give up their holidays to work and serve those of us who are fortunate to have the time off. Today, most people spend Labor Day weekend as a farewell to summer, with stays at the lakes and barbecues in the backyard.

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How do Americans celebrate Labor Day? In response, Eugene V. Debs, who later became the founder of the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905, signed many of those disgruntled workers into the American Railway Union, one of the country's first industrial unions, and spurred the nationwide Pullman strike, which impacted transportation across the U.S.at the time. All non-essential federal government offices are closed on Labor Day, and all federal employees are paid even if they receive the day off.

When was the first Labor Day?

The first Labor Day was celebrated over 100 years ago, when labor unions in NY decided in 1882 to celebrate their union members with a parade. As such, it affords a three-day weekend to pursue summertime passions one last time before the weather cools.

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As agriculture gave way to industry in America, labor unions grew more prominent.

In 1894, Congress passed legislation setting aside the first Monday of every September to recognise and honour American workers. Some records attest to Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was the first to propose a holiday in honor of workers.

Less so in the spirit of the founders, Labor Day has also become something of a festival of consumerism. The organized labor movement started the observance and the day gradually began to recognize all workers - hence it is a national holiday.

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What is Labor Day and Why Do Americans Celebrate It?