Today's a federal holiday because on the eve of the 20th century, machinists, carpenters, and people who worked in mills, mines, factories, and more joined together to fight for better wages, better conditions, and a day to honor the power of working people.
Labor unions are still fighting for an America that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected. They were on the front lines then, and they are on the front lines now.
This year, many essential workers have been working in high-risk conditions without appropriate protective equipment, adequate safety standards, or basic job protections. So I'm going to keep pushing in Congress for an Essential Workers' Bill of Rights to ensure safe working conditions, fair pay, paid leave, health care security, support for child care, and more.
This public health and economic crisis has shone a light on all of the cracks in our economic system all of the traps that make it so hard for working people, especially people of color, to even get a toehold in the middle class. And those traps aren't there by accident. The rich and powerful have done everything they can to take power away from workers including trying to break the backs of unions.
But unions aren't going away not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Unions built America's middle class, and unions will rebuild America's middle class.
Throughout history, workers have gotten together and gotten organized. Thanks to the labor movement, kids went from working in factories to going to school. Americans went from working 12 hours a day, six days a week, to the 40-hour week we know now.
We must remember that when working people fight, working people win. Shoulder to shoulder, we're going to create an economy that works for everyone. That starts with electing Democrats up and down the ballot this November and it continues with fighting for big, structural change in January and beyond.
Thanks for being a part of this, and happy Labor Day.
Elizabeth Warren was assistant to the president and a special adviser to the Treasury secretary on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She single-handedly set us this bureau, putting in place the building blocks for an agency that will (more...)