In the News: Labor Day History


Last Updated on October 25,2023

The Labor Day holiday developed in the late 19th century by an organized labor movement in New York City. The Central Labor Union in New York City celebrated the first Labor Day holiday on September 5, 1882. The union urged other organizations to do the same to celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday”. It gives workers a day of rest and celebrates their contribution to the American economy. Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday in 1887. In 1894, Labor Day became a celebrated holiday in 30 states. Later that year, President Grover Cleveland established Labor Day as a federal holiday after the events of the Pullman Strike.

Labor Day celebrations started with a street parade to display the strength, freedom, and leadership of the American worker. Today, there are less parades but more activities that are centered around the “last weekend of summer”.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 14.6 million union members in the work force as of 2016. This number has gone down from the 17.7 million in 1983. As of 2016, 11.8 % of West Virginians are union members.

The UMWA Labor Day picnic will be held at Hugh Park in Mannington, WV. The picnic is on September 3, 2017 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. It is open to all UMWA members and their families. Manchin Injury Law Group is proudly sponsoring the transportation during the picnic. We wish everyone an enjoyable and safe Labor Day weekend.


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