Labor Day is a celebration of the incredible contributions of America’s working people. Through sweat, sacrifice and innovation, workers built this country and make it run every day. But today, we’re working longer hours, taking on multiple jobs and producing more goods and services. Yet wages have flatlined, except for those at the very top.
Aspiring citizens, too, toil in the shadows to build a better life for their families but end up working in poor and unsafe conditions and too often fall into the hands of unscrupulous employers.
Everyone deserves a living wage and a safe workplace free of harassment and abuse. Everyone deserves a voice on the job. Everyone deserves a chance at a middle-class life through hard work.
This Labor Day, we need our nation to invest in good jobs and decent wages and to reform our broken immigration system to create a road map to citizenship for aspiring Americans. For union and nonunion workers; low wage, blue collar and white collar; documented and undocumented—this should be the country of opportunity.
You work hard every day. You’ve earned it.
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Related AFL-CIO Now Blog Posts
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler is in Toledo today to celebrate Labor Day with Ohio's working families.
"We honor and recognize the working men and women who built this nation through sweat, sacrifice and innovation," says Shuler. "We stand united in our belief that everyone deserves a voice on the job, a living wage and a workplace safe from harassment and abuse."
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IN THE NEWS
- Fired Walmart Workers Arrested at Rally Announcing Labor Day Deadline (The Nation)
- A Decade of Flat Wages the Key Barrier to Shared Prosperity and a Rising Middle Class (Economic Policy Institute)
- Fast-Food Workers Call for Nationwide Walkout Aug. 29 (The Washington Post)
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WHY CITIZENSHIP MATTERS
As we celebrate the contributions of ALL workers this Labor Day, we recognize that our approach to immigration must be rooted in our values as a nation. We believe in hard work, in the dignity of all work and in respect for one another. What unites us as Americans is our belief in shared values and in the country we call home, not where we were born.
We believe in the importance of immigration reform that protects all workers’ rights and includes a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans. And we are fully committed to making that a reality. Learn more about creating a viable path to citizenship and tell Speaker Boehner to support citizenship and embrace America's diverse future.
LABOR IN THE PULPITS
Resources from Interfaith Worker Justice to help you celebrate workers in your faith community, learn about the issues that impact them the most and generate conversation on today's problems in the workplace.