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EDITORIAL: Holiday has much meaning

Monday is Labor Day and much of the country will enjoy a day off and the customary end-of-summer cookouts and activities that usually come with it.

The very benefits of that day off work are a direct result of the movement the holiday was created to honor.

The day was set side by Congress as a tribute to America’s workers and the organized labor movement that came with them.

Whether it is a 40-hour work week, sick days, workplace safety standards, the end of child labor, workers compensation, paid vacations or overtime pay, many of the benefits workers enjoy today came as a result of hard fought victories by labor activists, particularly those in the early 1900s, who fought to change the abysmal conditions that arose with the Industrial Revolution.

Tragedies such as the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, in which 146 garment workers died in a New York City building, countless, deadly mine disasters and other losses of life spurred many to seek to improve things for all.

While many take labor’s accomplishments for granted, these benefits are something that society as a whole has enjoyed.

So enjoy this holiday, but take the time to reflect on those who came before, who worked so that we could all enjoy a better standard of living.