It’s Labor Day – Enjoy the Workingman’s Holiday!

September 1, 2022

Happy Labor Day to all AMS Employees and Congratulations on your excellent safety record!!

What does Labor Day have to do with employee safety? Well, the answer is that Labor Day honors the struggle of workers for safe working conditions! In the late 1800s, American workers had to labor 12-hour days, 7 days a week, in horribly unsafe conditions. Even children worked in factories and through this labor, the people would barely eke out a living.

Labor Day celebrates the strikes and rallies and protests that compelled employers to change the conditions, make the workplace safe, shorten the workday and come up with pay that allowed the workers to rise out of poverty and live well.

From History.com, “Labor Day, Labor Day 2022 will occur on Monday, September 5. Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day weekend also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, street parades and athletic events.”

Reading on through the article we find that it was a deadly railroad strike that led to the establishment of Labor Day. Employees at the Pullman Palace went on strike in protest of wage cuts and their union representative being fired. It was May of 1894. The article says, “On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the Pullman strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers.”

In response to this tragedy and in an attempt to repair the situation, Congress made Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and in 1894 President Grover Cleveland signed it into law nationally. It was considered ‘the Workingman’s Holiday’.

In a recent blog we wrote about Women’s Equality Day, and the fact that women had to fight for the right to vote. The 19th Amendment changed that, and today we are looking at a changed world. At AMS we are so pleased with the fact that there is a balance of women and men in leadership roles within the company.

Labor had to fight too. When the country moved from agriculture to industry, working conditions were terribly unsafe and workers were injured or died because there was no concern for them as human beings. As with women, we are looking at a changed world today for labor. At AMS we are committed to the safety of our employees, with one of the best records in our field. Employees are highly valued as human beings and that makes Labor Day worth celebrating!

Happy Labor Day to all!! We hope you have some celebrations planned at this ‘End of Summer’ holiday.