Labor Day-Now You Know The Rest of the Story

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, 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.

The facts: Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”
But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

While the origin of Labor is in dispute, what is indisputable is that the United States has the highest standard of living and the greatest labor force in the world. This includes the millions of doctors, nurses, and allied healthcare professionals that make American medicine, even with its problems, one of the best in world. It is appropriate, therefore, that we take a moment to pay tribute this weekend to the the American worker.

Bottom Line: The United States has an unparalleled workforce. Let’s pay tribute to the ones who make this possible, the American worker.

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