History | Happy Labor Day! Unless You Work in Retail

Child Labor in Textile Factories in the 1800's

First off, lets start with the history of Labor Day - According to the United States Department of Labor, "[it] is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

"In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country."

Happy Workers! 

Lets get up to speed with the current times, according to Wikipedia...

"To take advantage of large numbers of potential customers free to shop, Labor Day has become an important sale weekend for many retailers in the United States. Some retailers claim it is one of the largest sale dates of the year, second only to the Christmas season's Black Friday.

Ironically, because of the importance of the sale weekend, some of those who are employed in the retail sector not only work on Labor Day, but work longer hours. More Americans work in the retail industry than any other, with retail employment making up 24% of all jobs in the United States. As of 2012, only 3% of those employed in the retail sector were members of a labor union."

Therefore, if you work in the retail industry there is a good chance you don't get labor day off. Which honestly, should this change? Our economy is driven by people buying stuff, and a lot of stuff that we really don't need or we think we need. Should everyone get a Holiday? Should all shops, stores and locations be closed on Labor Day to truly give them a day off? Lastly, why are so few in the retail industry members of a labor union and is this a sign of the end of labor unions? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think...  


Popular Posts