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Labor Day

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Labor Day

Labor Day falls on Monday, September 4, 2023. Find out why we Americans honor the value of labor. Plus, learn which President started Labor Day, why the U.S. celebrates in September, and where that old-time rule about not wearing white after Labor Day came from.

My late Great Grandfather, born around 1866 after Great-Great Grandfathers' returning from the Civil War, would tell me stories about life on the during the late 1800's. One was about early September when farming communities would organize for scheduling harvesting and canning farm by farm to optimize labor to the ripening crops.

As the name implies, the work ethic holds that labor is good in itself; that a man or woman at work not only makes a contribution to his fellow man but becomes a better person by virtue of the act of working.

With that fact clearly understood, let us also recognize that the work ethic in America is undergoing some changes.It means that business, labor, and government should explore the new needs of today's wage earners: We must give the individual worker more responsibility-more of the feeling that his opinion counts.

Labor Day has a rich history that directly impacts the working conditions we experience today. So in between rounds of BBQ at your Labor Day celebration, take the time to discuss the U.S. labor movement and its contribution to our country's current work culture.

Many of us get Labor Day off. What better way to relax than to stretch out on the couch and watch a movie about the American labor movement? There are tons of union-themed movies to choose from. "Norma Rae" ring a bell? Side note: Unions play a major role in the entertainment industry.

Through effective collaboration among airlines and airports within the transportation sector and with more than 12 million TSA PreCheck passengers enrolled, TSA actively monitored and managed wait times at airport security checkpoints. It is never too late to enroll and participate in the benefit of the expedited TSA PreCheck screening program that allows travelers to leave on shoes, jackets, and belts, and enables them to keep their electronics and 3-1-1 liquids in their carry-on bags. As a result of these benefits, TSA PreCheck lanes move faster and more efficiently than regular lanes.

By the late 19th century, the Industrial Revolution had made working life miserable for people around the world. In many places, workers toiled for at least 12 hours a day six days a week in mines, factories, railroads, and mills. Children were especially exploited as cheap laborers who were less likely to strike. Sweatshops locked workers in small, crowded spaces, and punished them for talking or singing as they worked.

Outrage at these conditions galvanized the burgeoning labor movement, which organized strikes and rallies in the 1860s and 1870s. In addition to shorter workdays and safer conditions, workers fought for recognition of their contributions.

Additionally, the USCCB supports federal paid leave policy, just wages, and the right to organize. We have long called for a system in which the whole of society enjoys fundamental human needs including nutrition, affordable housing, education, and health care. These common goods cannot be achieved through individual efforts alone, but require the collaboration and cooperation of everyone, and the exclusion of no one.

Just as significant as federal policy, there is much work that can be done locally to advance the dignity of work. For example, there are always opportunities to volunteer to help struggling families, such as with Catholic Charities. Additionally, the efforts of labor unions have helped union workers fare better during the pandemic than non-union workers, as they were more likely to maintain their pay and their jobs. To this end, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development supports organizations that work on low-wage workers' rights and training, in an effort to eliminate labor trafficking and related workplace abuses such a


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