Labor Day is Monday, and we’re reminded that the holiday is more than the mark of the end to summer.

Across the country, families are holding cook-outs or planning a last hoorah before the cooler weather and bustle of the holidays set in. Most of the work force is given a Monday of rest, and we’re all looking forward to the long weekend. 

The holiday is celebrated every first Monday of September, and it is marked to acknowledge the social and economic achievements of American workers. It’s a time to celebrate the working class’ contributions to the strength and prosperity of the United States economy. 

As union workers returned to work this week after striking against AT&T Southeast for unfair labor practices, we’re also reminded this Labor Day that the holiday is about celebrating our freedom to stand up for fair labor practices in the workplace. 

Our nation’s first Labor Day was organized with a common goal to bring different types of workers together to meet and recognize their common interests. In the 1890s, factory workers labored for 60-hour work weeks. Union organizers sought to accomplish a reduction in work time with fewer hours a day and more days off. 

As economic growth in the country moved beyond farming and industrialization occurred, government officials were also in favor of shorter work weeks to allow workers to spend their wages on their days off, a goal that also had the U.S. economy in mind.

This year, as we celebrate Labor Day, remember that the holiday is as much about the workforce, it’s success in driving the economy and those fair labor practices we strive for in our daily grind. If you have the day off, enjoy it before getting back to work on Tuesday.

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