Monday, September 3, 2018

What Labor Day Was Intended For!

Labor Day is a U.S. national holiday held the first Monday every September. Unlike most U.S. holidays, it is a strange celebration without rituals, except for shopping and barbecuing. For most people it simply marks the last weekend of summer and the start of the school year.

The holiday’s founders in the late 1800s envisioned something very different from what the day has become. The founders were looking for two things: a means of unifying union workers and a reduction in work time.

Labor Day came about because workers felt they were spending too many hours and days on the job.

The first Labor Day was hardly a national holiday. Workers had to strike to celebrate it.

In the 1830s, manufacturing workers were putting in 70-hour weeks on average. Sixty years later, in 1890, hours of work had dropped, although the average manufacturing worker still toiled in a factory 60 hours a week.

These long working hours caused many union organizers to focus on winning a shorter eight-hour work day. They also focused on getting workers more days off, such as the Labor Day holiday, and reducing the workweek to just six days.

These early organizers clearly won since the most recent data show that the average person working in manufacturing is employed for a bit over 40 hours a week and most people work only five days a week.

Surprisingly, many politicians and business owners were actually in favor of giving workers more time off. That’s because workers who had no free time were not able to spend their wages on traveling, entertainment or dining out.

As the U.S. economy expanded beyond farming and basic manufacturing in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it became important for businesses to find consumers interested in buying the products and services being produced in ever greater amounts. Shortening the work week was one way of turning the working class into the consuming class.

So, remember to stop by Handmade Jewelry Haven...because when you purchase something from a small business, you are TRULY celebrating the spirit of Labor Day!
Excerpt from: The Conversion 
Green Victorian Shell Necklace

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  1. Idaho isn't a friendly state for workers.
    Coffee is on

    1. I dare say that a lot of people would say that about their states as well :(
      Thanks for stopping by.

      - Lisa

  2. I found it so interesting to read about early Labor activism because it is so important. It is because of them we have that an eight-hour workday is now standard and better working conditions. We still need to do more work to have more rights as workers.

    Love that photo of the first Labor Day parade!

  3. Interesting about the Labor Day Parade. Unfortunately, workers are still having trouble to this day.

  4. My grandson wanted to know why Labor Day is for workers but no one works on Labor Day!

  5. Shop and barbacue! Nice rituals! ;-)

  6. Very informative post. It was hard on those days.
    Happy WW!