Today is Labor Day, which for many of us means a welcome end-of-summer holiday. Perhaps you’ll go to the beach, barbecue with friends, or picnic at a local park. For America’s working families, though, it’s is so much more than a day off: it’s a reminder of all the progress that has been made, and the challenges that remain, for American workers.
Labor Day originated during the Industrial Revolution, when many Americans worked seven day weeks of 12-hour days for very little pay. Child labor laws were scarce and rarely enforced, so it was not uncommon to see a child as young as five years old toiling in a factory. Unsanitary and unsafe conditions were the norm, work breaks were unheard of, and some workers were even physically chained to their stations.
No longer willing to accept the widespread exploitation and abuses enforced by iron-fisted owners who built impregnable monopolies and bought off corrupt politicians, workers began…
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