Labor Day: This is Our Holiday
This weekend we celebrate you, sisters and brothers. We celebrate all you do, every day, to build our roads, our schools, our offices, our homes and the sacrifice you make to do so. You deserve a day off.
But let’s not forget why we celebrate Labor Day and why the holiday is particularly important to Carpenters. Peter J. McGuire, carpenter, historic labor organizer and agitator, founded the UBC to “elevate the craft, protect its interests, advance wages, reduce the hours of labor, spread correct economic doctrines and cultivate a spirit of fraternity among the working people regardless of creed, color, nationality or politics.” And, McGuire wished to not only honor all working people with a well-earned period of leisure but also create a space to demonstrate our numerical strength. While organizing the first ever Labor Day in 1882, McGuire stated,
“No festival of martial glory or warrior’s renown is this; no pageant pomp of war like conquest, no glory of fratricidal strife attend this day. It is dedicated to peace, civilization and the triumphs of industry. It is a demonstration of fraternity and the harbinger of a better age – a more chivalrous time, when labor shall be best honored and well rewarded.”
In this spirit, the first Labor Day amassed a 10-thousand strong parade in New York that ultimately inspired Congress to approve a national Labor Day in 1894. This is why Brother McGuire is often cited as the father of Labor Day.
One hundred and twenty-three years later, our members will be marching in parades and demonstrating Union strength across the Southwest. We hope that you can stand in solidarity with your fellow working people at a Labor Day parade near you. Carpenters are encouraged to join one of the Labor Day events posted below.
Of course, we hope you enjoy this Labor Day weekend too. But, in the words of Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Randy Thornhill, “when you are sitting around barbecuing this Labor Day Weekend with your family and friends, remind them, it’s the Carpenters Union that brought you this Holiday Weekend!”