Labor Day 2022

Labor Day 2022Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September.

It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day weekend also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, street parades and athletic events.

Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters.

In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages.

People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay.

READ MORE: How a Deadly Railroad Strike Led to the Labor Day Holiday

Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives.

On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the Pullman strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers.

Who Created Labor Day?

In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law. More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified.

Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.

READ MORE: The Labor Movement

Labor Day Celebrations

Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

Holidays That Fall on Mondays

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 changed several holidays to ensure they would always be observed on Mondays so that federal employees could have more three-day weekends. The Act, signed into law on June 28, 1968, moved Washington’s Birthday Memorial Day, and Columbus Day to fixed Mondays each year.

Labor Day is in good company; other holidays that always fall on Mondays include:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day George Washington’s Birthday (or “President’s Day”) Memorial Day Columbus Day


September 17, 2022 at 6:54 AM

By: John S. Whitfield

Hispanic History Month


Today we celebrate Mexican Independence Day, and as a Latina woman of Mexican descent, I honor today with my heart full of hope, pride and determination to continue the struggle for self-determination and freedom from oppression. We also kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month yesterday, commemorating the rich contributions of Latin American people in this country.

I began my career as a speech therapist working with Spanish-speaking immigrant students with disabilities. I was able to connect with my students and their parents in their native tongue and got to hear first-hand, like many of you, about their journey. I understand the richness and the dynamism of our communities, as well as the challenges.

I am proud to be part of a community and union that contributes to this country's social fabric, and the fight for racial and education justice. We are protagonists in this story and in the re-shaping of this country, and as such, we continue to play a role in determining its future.

As we celebrate today and this month, we must also acknowledge the current and existing humanitarian crisis at the border and the lack of political will in Chicago. We are called to respond to this moment both by giving from our hearts to the families seeking asylum and using our collective voice to call for those in political office to go beyond press releases and respond to this crisis by facilitating the use of city resources to create a more welcoming reception for displaced immigrants.

In solidarity,

Maria T. Moreno

CTU Recording Secretary

Hoy celebramos el Día de la Independencia de México, como mujer Latina de ascendencia mexicana a la que honro hoy con mi corazón lleno de esperanza, orgullo y determinación para continuar la tradición de luchar por la autodeterminación y la libertad de la opresión. Ayer también inauguramos el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, conmemorando las valiosas contribuciones de los latinoamericanos en este país.

Comencé mi carrera como terapeuta de lenguaje trabajando con estudiantes inmigrantes de habla hispana con discapacidades. Pude conectarme con mis alumnos y sus padres en su lengua materna y escuché por mí misma, como muchos de ustedes, sobre sus vidas. Entiendo la riqueza y el dinamismo de nuestras comunidades, así como los desafíos.

Me enorgullece ser parte de una comunidad y sindicato que contribuye al tejido social de este país y la lucha por la justicia racial y educativa. Somos protagonistas de esta historia y de la reconfiguración de este país; seguimos teniendo un papel en la determinación de su futuro.

Mientras celebramos hoy y este mes, también debemos reconocer la crisis humanitaria en la frontera y la falta de voluntad política en Chicago. Debemos responder a este momento dando de nuestro corazón a las familias que buscan asilo y usando nuestra voz colectiva para pedir a los políticos que vayan más allá de los comunicados de prensa y respondan a esta crisis facilitando el uso de los recursos de la ciudad para crear una recepción más acogedora para los inmigrantes desplazados.

En solidaridad,

Maria Moreno

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