Celebrate Labor Day
Posted by Ryan Morgan on September 07, 2015 at 12:19 PM
I always think about my parents—Henry and Cruz—on Labor Day. They taught me the value of hard work. My Father, while a student at University of California, Riverside, worked with labor leader Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers to help register voters and was very active in the Future Farmworkers of America. My Mother is a life-long teacher and, even after retiring, returned to the classroom as an Intervention Specialist assisting English and Spanish speaking students having difficulty with reading and comprehension. They instilled in me the importance of work in the service of others. The importance of work was one of the reasons Congress in 1894 recognized the immense contributions of American workers by designating the first Monday of September as Labor Day. Today, we celebrate all of the workers who make our country a great land of opportunity.
There have recently been tremendous gains for working people including the $15 minimum wage adopted by the UC Regents and both the County and City of Los Angeles. And just last week, the Legislature passed the California Fair Pay Act that seeks to close the salary gap between men and women—and now sits on the Governor’s desk for his signature.
But I believe more can be done to protect our workers and rebuild our middle class:
- We need to stand with working men and women to secure protections against wage disparity and wage theft.
- We can lift everyone up by providing a living wage so that workers can support their families without having to work several jobs to make ends meet.
- We can also create a pipeline for tomorrow’s workforce by investing in career pathways and apprenticeship training programs that give people access to good paying jobs with benefits.
Let’s strive for a better life for all working people and celebrate Labor Day and the American worker!
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