workplace safety requirements, financial protection, and fair labor standards.
Here is a Labor
Day holiday video from the History television channel, total time
8:34 minutes video (4 categories described
below, time sequence of each noted). Information from that video has
been outlined below, supplemented and linked in part for further detail
History and overview of Labor day. 0:00 to
The industrial revolution created a need for improved worker conditions.
1887 Oregon was the first State to recognize Labor Day, the holiday.
1894 Labor Day became a USA Federal Holiday. President Cleveland
declared the holiday as the result of a railway worker protest disaster
(federal troops killed 2 workers).
1950's Unions grew to 1/3 of the labor force. Labor Day was a time to
rally for safer worker conditions, fair pay, and benefits.
Late 1970's the USA union labor force began to decline.
Current status: "for most people Labor Day is summer's last hurrah!".
The factory. 3:39 to 5:39 minutes
1910 Henry Ford was first to build cars by assembly line, an automation
model which became the industry standard.* Second generation, assembly
line work has transitioned to robots doing much of the repetitive work
while employees working along side.
The origin and end of child labor, protest and demand for
legislation. 5:40 to 7:27 minutes
Early 1800's, 1900's labor groups workers fought against and to improve worker conditions but had little power until
unions were formed.
20th century unions fought to put an end to child labor, and promote
worker safety and living condition benefits.
Legislation through the US (the result of labor
union effort). 7:28 to 8:34 minutes
Act (1938), Fair Labor Standards: minimum
wage, and hour standards (40 hour week, or overtime pay), limited work
hours for children, record keeping.
Social Security Act (1935, 1939), Unemployment Compensation: 1) temporary and
partial wage replacement, stabilize the economy during recessions.
Social Security Act (1935), Federal pension system: initially , the poor and elderly; then a "pay as you go" system expanded
to include most workers.
Wagner Act (1935), National Labor Relations: employees have the right
of self-organization, labor organizations,
through their representatives.
* Some problems with repeated assembly line automation are described in
humor from Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times, (the 1936 movie). Video 4:24 minutes.
And, later by Lucille Ball in the television sitcom I Love Lucy "Candy Assembly Line" (1950's). Video
Additional Labor Day references: History.com.
Government. And, The
Posted by Kathy Meeh