What We Need to Remember this Labor Day Weekend


Alexa Empleo, Staff Writer

A vast majority of us surely are aware of the upcoming Labor Day long weekend, which is both exciting and a huge relief. It is no surprise that most holidays that cause suspensions of classes are always overlooked since everyone is out enjoying their free day. However, it is also crucial that we at least understand and reflect on such a holiday as it is a part of our cultural and historical identities.

According to the United States Department of Labor, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. The labor movement that took place during the Industrial Revolution grew from the need to protect the rights of workers across the country. Ordinary citizens organized labor unions that fought against 61 hours of work per week, a lack of child labor laws that let even those under 14 to work, absence of family and medical leave, and unequal wages.

What could have happened if the labor movement did not take place? If the people before weren’t able to find their voice and become active citizens?

Mr. Miguel Tenorio, a teacher here at West Ranch says, “There could have been a lot more unprotected people in their jobs. The moment you get injured, you are more likely to lose your position; the company would not value you at all. The workers just wanted to have a steady livelihood to provide for their families.”

Mothers and fathers wouldn’t have had enough time for their children, and families would have been separated and have low incomes. We would have been forced to work as well by the time we could walk and talk, and the rich would become richer as the poor become poorer. This is due to the low wages provided by owners or masters that enable them to hold more money for themselves.

It is undeniable that the labor movement greatly changed the working environment of all sectors and provided next generations with better conditions and benefits, including the weekend. It is a marvelous example of letting your voice be heard. So, like all other movements that have preceded and succeeded it, we as Americans must continuously be unafraid to unify and create a better society for ourselves and for our children.

Teenagers will eventually hold jobs and establish careers, some of us doing so as early as now. We must learn to appreciate and respect the actions of our predecessors  by not only remembering the labor movement, but as well as paying tribute and showing gratitude to the different workers in our lives. One of the most significant laborers is our parents as they continuously work hard to provide us with a better standard of living.

So, as we all take the time off to relax, do some homework, rewatch ” All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” on Netflix or maybe get some boba with a couple of friends this long weekend, let us keep in mind of the struggles and the fruitful effects of the laborers who unified together and gave us the present of better working conditions.