When Labor Day comes around it signals a lot of things. After Labor Day, AMS will enter its peak season, so it’s a ‘get ready’ signal. After Labor Day the seasons begin to change and we all know it’s a ‘here comes Fall’ signal. School is back in session, Halloween is around the corner, Thanksgiving will come soon.
Labor Day weekend signals it all, plus, it’s a 3-day weekend for some so that means doing something fun with family, or maybe ‘taking a break from labor’ as that’s what it’s about – the workforce – the laborers.
The Department of Labor website puts it this way: “Observed the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being.”
This holiday is in recognition of the men and women who keep things rolling – who do the job. AMS has 633 employees with 528 working in our warehouses and 95 working in administrative jobs. The workers in the warehouse are the backbone of the company as they directly serve the clients. When the job is done right, and the clients are happy, the workers get the credit. They did it. Thank You!
The administrators are workers too. What would AMS be without its technology geniuses who develop the information systems. Thank you to them, and to the ones who do the accounting and sales and customer service and shipping. And thank you to upper management and the CEO. Running it all isn’t an easy job, and that’s an understatement.
How the Holiday Began
The individual states recognized Labor Day first, before the federal government did. Oregon was the first state to pass a law recognizing Labor Day, and that was in 1887. That year four more states – Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York – passed laws creating a Labor Day holiday. Connecticut, Nebraska and Pennsylvania 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 a legal holiday honoring the American labor force.
There is some disagreement on who first proposed the holiday for workers. Some show that it was Peter McGuire of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, but many believe that machinist Matthew Maguire, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research shows that Matthew Maguire proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.
The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. It was organized and conducted by the Central Labor Union. They held a second holiday the next year on September 5. Two years later 23 more states had adopted the holiday and President Grover Cleveland signed it into law making the first Monday in September a national holiday. This was on June 28, 1894.
People celebrated with parades and parties. According to the DOL, the first proposal for a holiday suggested that the day should be observed with… “a street parade to exhibit “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.”
We Thank You
Labor is the reason that Americans enjoy a higher standard of living and the greatest production in the world. “It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker.”
Those sentiments are very true and well-spoken. At AMS we truly value our workers. AMS holds employees to be stakeholders in its business decisions. Employee safety is a #1 concern, and free training and education is offered to all employees. We want our employees to be happy with their employment, and able to advance because of it. B Corporations work to B the Change.