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Editorial: Meaning of Labor Day

This weekend, Americans will be celebrating Labor Day.

The holiday will mean, for many, one last chance to enjoy summer activities, with schools now back in session and cooler weather coming.

While that is an enjoyable use of the day, we would urge everyone to also reflect on the origins of the holiday.

Established in 1894 by the federal government to honor the American labor movement and the contributions of workers, the holiday’s meaning is sometimes lost on the public.

From a 40-hour work week, to minimum wage laws, to paid time off, to safe working conditions, most of the workplace gains enjoyed today came about through decades of activism, organizing and the hard fights of union members.

From the aftermath of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire to events such as the Battle of Blair Mountain to the Flint sitdown strikes, it was through these battles that gains were made and a middle class was formed.

Americans should honor those who fought to guarantee them a comfortable living and should remain vigilant and see to it that these hard-fought gains remain for future generations