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Editorial: Recognize the value of labor today

Last Modified: Sunday, September 01, 2013 7:29 PM

There are many important factors in economic success, but one the key factors is the value of labor. To make the free enterprise system work, we need a well-educated, well-rained labor force. Today, Labor Day, recognizes that all important ingredient to our society and our future.

]The United States has also shown the world that capitalism can and does work best when workers are treated with fairness and respect. Our system has also shown that labor benefits the most when both workers and management work together as a team.

Other countries has amply demonstrated that when management exploits workers, and workers act as enemies of management, the economies of those countries fail. Our country should always avoid that mistake. A cooperative spirit benefits both sides.

Today is the 119th year of the officially recognized Labor Day holiday, the first Monday in September.

Congress passed that bill on June 28, 1894, but additional state laws were needed to put the law into full operation. By 1928, all states but Wyoming had enacted the legislation.

The idea of a day set aside to celebrate laborers is credited to Robert Owen of Wales. At 19, he was manager of a cotton mill which employed 500 people. As a reformist, Owen tried to change the way factory owners and management viewed labor.

The idea of a Labor Day in the United States was spawned in New York City by the Knights of Labor, the first relatively permanent national labor organization in the country.

Organized in 1869 by Uriah Smith Stephens, the Knights of Labor admitted all workers without regard to skill or craft and included farmers and small shop keepers.

In 1884, the Knights of Labor which laid the groundwork for the American Federation of Labor, which adopted a resolution that the first Monday in September should be considered Labor Day, and steps were taken to have it recognized as a holiday.

Celebration of Labor Day in this country is a great demonstration that cooperation between labor and capital, to make the free enterprise system work, is the best economic system of all.

Have a great holiday today and remember that labor is a vital key ingredient to our economic success.

• • •

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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