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Happy Labor Day Weekend!

by Tony Geng on September 1, 2017

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As the long weekend approaches, we wanted to wish all of our readers a very happy (and safe!) Labor Day weekend!

Most of us think of Labor Day as an excuse to kick back, fire up the ol’ BBQ, and enjoy the last long weekend of summer. We thought it would be interesting to give a little history about this most relaxing of long weekend.

cooking burgers on the bbq

The First Labor Day:

While the exact starting point of Labor Day is a bit hazy, here are two possibilities that we found:

  1. The Knights of Labor (the largest American trade union in the 1800s) convened on September 1882, which became an annual tradition.
  2. A member of the American Federation of Labor proposed May 1882 after attending a labor festival in Toronto, Canada.

This tradition didn’t become federal law until 1894 when the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve legislation to make Labor Day a national holiday following the deaths of workers during the Pullman Strike.


What was the Pullman Strike?

The Pullman Strike was a nationwide railroad strike in the United States on May 11, 1894. The conflict began in Pullman, Chicago and the strike ended up shutting down a large portion of freight and passenger traffic in the US.

The strike originated after the Pullman Palace Car Company cut wages to workers but not rents at their company housing.

This resulted in a boycott of Pullman products and many of the workers joined the American Railway Union, who refused to run trains containing Pullman cars.

Within four days of the strike 125,000 workers at twenty-nine railroads walked off the job out of protest.

Due to the uproar, President Grover Cleveland ordered 12,000 United States Army troops to take action against the protesters.

The resulting violence and damage left 30 strikers dead, 57 wounded and $80 million in property damage.


Public opinion was strong against Cleveland for his decision to bring in the Army. As a result Congress and President Cleveland designated Labor Day as a federal holiday to appease organized labor unions following the strike.


Modern Labor Day:

Though many of us don’t think about the ‘meaning’ of Labor Day the way we would with Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s an excellent opportunity to thank employees in every field and industry for their tireless work and the long hours that they’ve clocked.

It’s a day to reflect on all the valuable contributions that workers have made to the world around them that will impact others for many years to come.

So, to all of our valued customers, distributors, partners, and of course, our friends and family, on behalf of everyone at Superior Glove, we thank you for all of your hard work!

We wish you a happy, restful, and safe Labor Day Weekend.

Want to Learn More?

Continue of your journey through time with A History of Safety: Key Moments That Shaped the Modern Workplace

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