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August 31, 2019
Most these days probably associate Labor Day with promotions or the beginning of the school year. The holiday is really a major accomplishment of worker rights dating back to the 19th-century.
In the late 1800s, many Americans worked 12 hour days, seven days a week in physically straining jobs with little pay. This even included child workers in dangerous and harsh working conditions like factories and farms. These brutal circumstances gave birth to the American labor movement.
The very first unofficial Labor Day took place as a march through New York City on September 5, 1882. Working dressmakers, bricklayers, and other tradespeople risked their jobs by demanding "Less Work and More Pay," as well as an eight-hour work day.
Years of chaos among political groups and the government culminated in two major events in Chicago. In 1886, a worker demonstration in the city's Haymarket Square fought for an eight-hour work day and against police killings of protestors. A bomb went off and authorities opened fire in response, killing several protestors and police officers.
In 1894, the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago cut wages for its rail workers without accordingly lowering the rent prices in town. When workers complained, they were fired by the owner. In response tens of thousands walked off the job. Angry crowds and strikes broke out. They refused to handle Pullman cars, completely disrupting the flow of freight and passenger trains. Federal troops were called in to break up the crowds and met them with gunfire.
Fearing that he was losing support among working-class supporters, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill declaring Labor Day a national holiday to commemorate the sacrifices of the American worker.
Today Labor Day offers an extra day to the weekend to consider the strides past generations have made so that we can enjoy our more humane working conditions today. However, there is still much work to be done, and much of the goods we buy today contribute to suffering in harsh and inhumane working conditions overseas.
Here at MyOrganicSleep, we prioritize the health and safety of the workers involved in making our products as much as that of the environment and the consumer. As explained in our previous blog What exactly does "Certified Organic" mean? items that have a GOLS or GOTS certification were sourced by workers paid fair wages, in safe conditions, and given the freedom to collectively organize. This is all in addition the the premium standard the material is held up to in construction and environmental impact.
You can sleep soundly at night knowing your purchase has not contributed to further suffering or injustice in the world.
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