With the Labor Day weekend upon us, Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 presents 10 Labor Day facts to help you impress your friends, family and co-worker with this knowledge.
1. The origin of America’s Labor Day can be traced to Canada in 1872, when printers wanted a nine-hour workday, marched through the streets of Toronto.
2. The first U.S. Labor Day parade occurred in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882.
3. Forbes.com wrote that more than 10,000 workers took unpaid time off work to march in the first parade, which went from City Hall, past Union Square, to 42nd Street, and ended at Wendel’s Elm Park at 92nd Street and 9th Avenue for a picnic, speeches and a concert.
4. No individual has received credit for creating Labor Day, but historians say Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, and Matthew Maguire, secretary of the Central Labor Union, played a large role in establishing the holiday in the early 1880s.
5. Oregon in 1887 was the first state to declare Labor Day a holiday. Soon, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey followed Oregon’s footsteps and made Labor Day a state holiday.
6. Congress officially recognized Labor Day as a national holiday in 1894 following the deadly Chicago Pullman strike.
7. In the late 1800s, the average American laborer worked 12-hour days, 7-days a week.
8. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, there are 14.6 million unionized workers in America, which make up 11.1% of the total workforce.
9. Roughly 13.9% of the construction workforce belongs to a union in 2014.
10. Since 1894, Labor Day has always occurred on a Monday.
The Executive Board wishes all of our members an enjoyable and safe Labor Day. We hope to see you at some of the Labor Day events occurring throughout our district.