Happy Labor Day!
Happy Labor Day!
Labor Day commemorates the struggles of working men and women who fought for many of the things we take for granted today – weekends, the eight-hour workday, the end of child labor, and the right to negotiate as equals for the fair wages and benefits you and your families deserve.
This day of celebration has been a national holiday since 1894. It was enacted with the support of President Grover Cleveland in an effort to promote labor peace following the violent Pullman Strike in the Spring of that year. That strike occurred when the Pullman Company slashed jobs and cut wages but refused demands to reduce the excessive rents and utility fees it charged workers in the company town of Pullman, Illinois. The strike was eventually violently broken by federal troops and Pinkerton thugs, resulting in more than 30 deaths.
We are fortunate to live in the worker-friendly state of California. Working families have had two consecutive labor champions as Governor, Jerry Brown and now Gavin Newsom. In addition, our State Legislature is dominated by elected Senators and Assembly Members who each session enact legislation to protect worker rights supported by OCEA and other unions up and down California. Your participation in election campaigns - whether walking precincts, phone banking, or providing financial support to our allies - is a vital element in promoting and preserving the influence of State and local government leaders committed to your safety, security, and stability.
Working families across our great nation could enjoy many of the benefits workers in California already possess if the U.S. Senate passes the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (the PRO Act). The Act strengthens the ability of all private-sector workers to form unions and bargain for better working conditions and fair wages. If enacted into law, the PRO Act would be the most comprehensive labor legislation in more than 80 years.
You can help fight attacks on workers and expand worker rights. To find out how, click here for OCEA’s “get involved” page on our website.
This year as you celebrate the traditional end of summer with your friends and families, remember some of the sacrifices those who preceded us have made, the many rights and benefits we have together achieved, and the good work that remains to be done. It’s a privilege for me to stand with you as we work to make sure our children get a fair shot at their own version of the American Dream.
OCEA General Manager
Publication Date: September 6, 2021