The first Monday of every September is celebrated in the United States as Labor Day. First instituted as an official public holiday in 1887 by the state of Oregon, Labor Day became an official federal holiday a few years later in 1894. Now part of the long weekend that marks the unofficial end of summer, the holiday was originally created to honor the accomplishments of the American labor movement that fought for workers’ rights and celebrated the importance of organized unions.
Many of the worker protections that we commonly take for granted today would not be in place if it were not for the efforts of the labor champions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their struggles led to the institution of the 40 hour work week, mandatory first aid equipment, safety standards, and countless other things we now consider essential elements of the workplace. Though these days Labor Day is more frequently used as an excuse to barbecue with friends in the backyard, it is our collective responsibility to at least take a moment to reflect upon how our work lives are built on the efforts of those who came before us. Our workplaces are safe and fair because older generations fought to make them that way. This Monday, though most people won’t actually be at these safe and fair offices, we thank them.
We at NanoLumens wish everyone a happy and safe Labor Day!