Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Here's to you, Laborers!



MAKE-IT-SAFE MONDAY


After a refreshing Labor Day, it is a good time to reflect on what this occassion is all about, and frankly, to keep the celebration and recognition going.  

Indeed, this day is about you, the worker.  Nice, right!  It is a time to thank those magical hands that toil, and build, and create, and do.  However, we get the day, the singular day, off.  Most of us anyway.  Let's take a look back on this much deserved day's historical meaning.

According to Wikipedia, labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.
Labor Day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre, US President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.
The equivalent holiday in Canada, Labour Day, is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. In many other countries (more than 80 worldwide), "Labour Day" is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers' Day, which occurs on May 1st.

In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York.  Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada. Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.

Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation's trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers' Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would be associated with the nascent Communist, Syndicalist and Anarchist movements that, though distinct from one another, had rallied to commemorate the Haymarket Affair in International Workers' Day.  All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.
Obviously, as Wikipedia goes on, this day is about YOU the worker.  Putting the normal safety jargon aside, here are some fun Labor Day facts:

Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear white or seersucker.

In U.S. sports, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons. NCAA teams usually play their first games the weekend of Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day. The Southern 500 NASCAR auto race was held that day from 1950 to 1983 in Darlington, South Carolina. At Indianapolis Raceway Park, theNational Hot Rod Association hold their finals to the U.S. Nationals drag race. Labor Day is the middle point between weeks 1 and 2 of the US Open Tennis Championships held in Flushing Meadows, NY.

In the U.S., most school districts that started summer vacation 1-2 weeks into June will resume school the day after this day, while schools that had summer vacation begin on the Saturday before Memorial Day in late May will have already been in session since late August. However this tradition is changing as many school districts end 1-2 weeks into June and begin mid-August.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday, or Tuesday ;).

Aaron Lamb
General Manager, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company


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