Remembering the meaning behind Labor Day

Remembering the meaning behind Labor Day

A lot of us are getting ready to go back to work tomorrow after plenty of barbecue and cold drinks. But what about the meaning behind Labor day?

It's a holiday that dates back to the 1880s, at a time when the nation's workforce was changing.

In Tyler, those connected with local unions host an annual Labor Day picnic at Lindsey Park. They're mindful of the role organized labor has played in shaping the modern work schedule.

"The unions are what brought the working class people the weekends," picnic organizer Claretta Allen said.

At one time it was common for the working class to work 12 hour days--7 days a week.

"Tomorrow we'll go back to work and begin our busy lives once again," Allen said as she reflected on the relative luxury of a break to enjoy life outside of work.

As it turned out, a happier and more content set of workers caused the U.S. economy to skyrocket past the industrial revolution.

For many, Labor Day is also a day to be thankful for the job have you have.

"Some people are still struggling and we are praying for those people who don't have jobs," Larry Martin said.

The picnic is also a traditional stomping ground for local politicians. This year Shirley McKellar is planning to challenge Congressman Louie Gohmert in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gohmert's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"He does not know what his job is," McKellar said. "And since he does not know what his job is and I know exactly what the job entails, I'm going to be your next U.S. Congress District 1."

Election day is several months away. But Monday was a day to celebrate a workforce that drives the country.

"I'm very proud to be a part of that," Allen said. "But as far as Labor Day, I'm enjoying it with family, friends."


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