Industry News

History of Labor Day




   FRESNO, Calif. (September 2013) - For many of us, Labor Day represents out-of-town trips, barbecues or an extra day away from the office. What many people forget is that the Labor Day holiday celebrates the efforts of labor in creating social and economic changes that ultimately strengthen the U.S. middle class and grew our economy.

   The Central Labor Union in New York City organized the first Labor Day in 1882. Celebrations spread and labor groups grew. By 1894, Labor Day became a federal holiday celebrated the first Monday in September.


   Today, labor groups continue the celebratory traditions with breakfasts and other events. Ironworkers Local 155 marked the holiday at the Labor Day Pancake Breakfast at the Fresno Fairgrounds. It was the 10th year the ironworkers participated in the event, organized by the Central Labor Council. Sponsors included Local 155, police and firefighters.


   "We need to make sure to take time to celebrate working families and all that labor has accomplished in creating workplace safety and fair labor standards," said Local 155 Business Manager Don Savory. "We’ve accomplished a lot for creating a middle class and family-life balance."

   Congressman Jim Costa and Assembly Member Henry T. Perea, among other local elected leaders, addressed and served the hungry crowd of union members and their families.

   While elected leaders and labor members had an opportunity to mingle, they also discussed how the event is significant for showcasing efforts getting people back to work.

   Savory is hopeful efforts continue to focus on getting people back to work with livable wages. That’s the key to keeping the economy growing, he said.