Happy Labor Day!

Alyson Chadwick
3 min readSep 5, 2022

It’s about more than sales and cookouts

Labor Day is important. We have unions to thank for all of these benefits.

The union bug

I have never belonged to a union. Not because I don’t like them but because none of my jobs have had them. My only experience with unions was getting the union bug on items that I had printed for campaigns. Democratic campaigns require all print jobs be done by union shops. Republican campaigns have no such requirement.

When I was working on Clinton/Gore ’96, I was sent to Centralia, Washington. We were working on a bus tour and this was a stop. I was in the union hall when I saw a sign that read, “Don’t like unions? Sure, we’ll give you back your dues but you need to give back your vacation, overtime, sick leave…” I am sure there was more to it. For people who know what unions are all about, this was not some revelation but to me, it was. I had never thought of things that way. Truth be told, I never gave it any thought before that. Labor Day to me was a day we had off from work and school.

Labor Day started in New York City

The first Labor Day parade in New York City

Labor Day started in the Empire State. According to the Department of Labor:

Before it was a federal holiday, Labor Day was recognized by labor activists and individual states. After municipal ordinances were passed in 1885 and 1886, a movement developed to secure state legislation. New York was the first state to introduce a bill, but Oregon was the first to pass a law recognizing Labor Day, on February 21, 1887. During 1887, four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York — passed laws creating a Labor Day holiday. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.

Unions have a bad reputation today. I place the blame for that at the feet of the wealthy people who own companies that oppose unions. Look at the money Jeff Bezos has spent to keep Amazon facilities from unionizing. He was none too pleased earlier this year when some of his workers did just that…

Alyson Chadwick

I am a sports and news junkie, writer and comedian. I spent at least one lifetime working in politics. http://bit.ly/3HcFKGb