Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) issued the following statement to mark the Labor Day holiday on September 1, 2014:
“For more than 100 years, Americans have celebrated Labor Day and the contributions working men and women have made to America and its economy. On this day, we recognize them as well as organized labor and its work on behalf of equality and social justice in our nation.
“Today we take for granted the right to collectively bargain and to a minimum wage, the eight-hour work day and 40-hour work week, child labor laws and health and safety regulations. But these rights only came after a struggle and, all too often, at the cost of life for many working men and women. Tragedies such as the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York and the Ludlow Massacre at a Colorado coal mine led to the deaths of men, women and children, raised the nation’s consciousness about the poor working conditions of many Americans and set the stage for reform.
“As we once again celebrate Labor Day, let us remember those who struggled for the rights we now take for granted. Let us also reaffirm the dignity of work and recommit ourselves to the ongoing effort to create jobs, provide decent wages and ensure equal pay for equal work for all Americans and particularly for the men and women who still bear the brunt of the Great Recession.”