LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The Labor Day holiday signals the end of Summer as Americans all over the country partake in festivities away from work and studies. While it may seem like just another "day off," Labor Unions fought hard and continue to fight for the rights of the American worker.
Labor Day's rich history outlines a continued battle for time-off and other permanent amenities in the modern workplace. In the late 1800s, Americans worked seven days a week for twelve hours a day to make enough money to support themselves and loved ones.
Around the same time, Labor Unions grew in popularity to protest unfair work environments. As legal battles ensued, Labor Unions and other contributing factors captured rights for American workers. Forty-hour work weeks, child labor laws, and weekends are a few of the achievements. President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894.
One local union member said the fight for workers' is an ongoing battle; with an increased presence in the unique workplace climate of today.
"I feel the state of Unions right now is even stronger than they have been before. Just because of the way the work atmosphere is now. People need that sense of togetherness and they need someone looking out for them," said Mike Davis, President of Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO.
Labor Unions have a focus on a new federal minimum wage and the Pro Act in Congress. The Pro Act is a bill designed to preserve and protect Unions.