Labor Day is more than just a holiday, let us remember this day’s significance
With Labor Day’s approach many are gearing up for hometown parades with high school marching bands, decorated antique cars, firetrucks with American flags, and workers with banners from different fields processing down the street. Labor Day in Oregon is the last day of summer vacation for elementary and high school students, and in 1887 Oregon became the first state to legislate its observation.
Many of us benefit from this federal holiday that recognizes the social and economic contributions of the Labor movement to American society.
- public education, sweatshop and child labor laws.
- Pregnancy and parental leave, sexual harassment, and equal pay laws.
- Sick leave and family medical leave.
- Employer health care, dental, life, and vision insurance.
- Military leave and veteran’s employment and training services.
- Prohibiting employer discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disabilities.
- Weekends, paid vacation, and holiday pay.
- Minimum wage, overtime pay, and compensation increases and evaluations.
- The 8-hour work day, all breaks at work including lunch, and a 40-hour work week.
- Occupational safety and health, and workplace safety standards and regulations.
- Wrongful termination, worker’s comp, and unemployment insurance.
- Privacy rights, whistleblower protections, and employee polygraph protection.
- Collective bargaining rights and the right to strike.
- Social security, pensions, reducing income inequality, and creating and supporting the middle class.
On Labor Day, who among us doesn’t enjoy a week of work without a Monday? Yet more than just a day off from our labors, as we’re grilling food and relaxing with family and friends, let us pause and remember this day’s significance. May we recall and be thankful for specific benefits we wouldn’t otherwise have without the organizing, sacrifices, and deaths of those who have improved both workplaces and our culture.
How is your work, paid or volunteer, making this community a better place for all people?
Rev Sybrant has a Masters in Divinity, Social Work, and a Doctor of Ministry. For more information, visit us at 15050 SW Weir Road | www.murrayhills.org | 503-524-5230