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Author Topic: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?  (Read 9787 times)

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2013, 12:17:54 PM »
In Canada, we also have a holiday the first Monday of September. We call it Labour Day.  ;)
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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2013, 02:48:47 PM »
Another thing about Labor Day is that it is a holiday that most people get off from work. Not retail workers, or restaurant staff, or health care workers or staff at amusement parks and the like. But the average office/factory worker will get the day off. 

But the US does not have any holidays where an employer is *required* to give employees the day off. Many employers follow the Federal Government's holiday schedule, which has ten holidays per year:

    New Year's Day
    Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
   Washington's Birthday
   Memorial Day
   Independence Day
    Labor Day
    Columbus Day
    Veterans Day
    Thanksgiving Day
    Christmas Day

But many do not. But the majority of people do get Memorial Day and Labor Day off, giving us two three-day weekends to bookend the summer season.

In addition, most people get New Year's Day, Independence Day (July 4th), Thanksgiving and Christmas Day off. But Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day are really done on an employer by employer basis.

And since most of us get less vacation time off than people in Europe, we value each and every holiday.

So glad to be in the finance industry, as we do now get those holidays off. Every single other job I've ever had, we had two days off. Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day. That was it. We'd close early Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, and Independence Day, but we were required to be available to work. And at my last job with live animals and a boarding situation in the store, some people even had to work those days, as well as overnights.


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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2013, 05:05:28 PM »
In many places, the new school year starts the day after Labor Day.  So that three day weekend is seen as a last chance to take a quick vacation before the kids go back to school.


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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2013, 09:29:12 PM »
I've heard that the whole white shoe prohibitions came about when streets were still dirt.  Summer was dry enough that you could wear your white shoes without them getting muddy, but fall to spring the weather was too rainy/snowy.


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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2013, 04:04:48 PM »
Most countries that celebrate a labor day celebrate it on May 1, which was declared International Workers Day (some countries call it Labour Day) in commemoration of the Haymarket incident of 1886, a workers rights demonstration in which four people were killed. This was in Chicago. So the date for the workers holiday around the world was chosen in commemoration of a labor event in the U.S., which doesn't observe that date.

Over the years, some groups have tried to get U.S. Labor Day changed to May 1, in solidarity with the workers of other countries. But that has met with resistance, at least in part because May Day/International Workers Day was observed with great fanfare in the Soviet bloc countries and was considered a "Communist holiday," even though plenty of non-Communist countries observe it. In fact, in the 1950s, at the height of anti-Communist fervor, May 1 in the U.S. was declared "Loyalty Day." It still shows up on calendars, although at least in my lifetime it was never an official close-the-banks-and-schools type holiday.

Some labor activist groups in the U.S. do have some token observance of May Day as a gesture of solidarity with workers in other countries, but the September Labor Day is the main observance.

As far as fashion, as others have pointed out, Labor Day, because of its timing in early September, is the traditional end of summer and time to pack away the summer attire. These days, though, nobody cares if you carry a white purse or wear white shoes after the second Monday in September. Even the U.S. edition of "What Not to Wear" used to display a "White Shoes Permitted After Labor Day" sign.

The above is for informational purposes only -- no political debates please!
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