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Sun September 1, 2013
Spokesperson: Labor Day Has New Meaning
Labor Day for many is a day off from work or school. But for people active in today's labor movement, it's a day to pause and reflect.
Dean Einerson of Rhinelander is a member of the Northwoods Labor Solidarity Group. He attended a rally in Wausau last week as fast food workers rallied for higher pay. He says the continuity of worker needs from the 19th century to today is similar...
"...in the 1870's and 1880's there's a big upsurge in organizing and strikes and the issues were poor and working conditions, just like the people we're picketing with today...the inability they have to raise their families...support their families..."
Einerson says the Pullman railroad strike in the 1890's led to Labor Day...
"the famous Pullman strike led to a national railroad strike that was put down with a great deal of violence by the federal government. The Army was used to put it down, then a couple of years later Labor Day was served up(by Congress) as a (concession) to the workers..."
Einerson says this Labor Day should focus on worker's rights, the rights to organize and the right to live decently.