Weekend Reading: Front Page News, On a Beach, Back to School & In Their Eyes

Weekend Reading: Front Page News, On a Beach, Back to School & In Their Eyes

Weekend Reading: Front Page News, On a Beach, Back to School & In Their Eyes 2121 1414 AEPC Health

As the 3-day weekend Labor Day holiday kicks off, it is a perfect time to remember the timeless words of President John F. Kennedy: “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” And thank we shall, the organized labor movement for its decades of tireless work that has given us so much!

Did you ever wonder what life was like for your grandparent, or great-great grandparents or others during the late 1800s – early 1900s? Well, let me share a bit about a young woman named Nora, born in Rhode Island in the late 1890s. Like most girls, she was working in a textile mill for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week before her 10th birthday. By age 12, with both parents deceased, a room at the mill’s boarding house became home between the long days at the factory. Little more is known about Nora’s early life – I wish I knew more about my grandmother’s childhood.

Child labor was pretty much the norm at the time throughout the country. Girls and boys worked in glass factories, textile mills and canneries. There were also street trades jobs mainly done by young boys, such as selling newspapers as a “newsie,” shining shoes and couriering documents. In near obscurity, boys worked as laborers in coal mines with some losing limbs or their life.

Labor unions played a central role in stopping child labor! Thanks to labor unions, we have the eight-hour day and five-day work week, higher wages, as well as employer-sponsored healthcare insurance, retirement, and other benefits. Workplaces are safer and fairer. Union-represented workers receive training and education to ensuring that their skills are best in class.

And last but not least, thank you to organized labor for the Labor Day holiday. The idea of Labor Day emerged in the late 19th century when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions of workers. In 1894,12 years after the first labor parade in New York, President Grover Cleveland signed an act establishing Labor Day as a federal holiday on the first Monday of every September.

So, before the weekend celebrations, let’s all give our thanks to organized labor for all that they have done and continue to do!

This Weekend Reading Series begins with Front Page News with some of the latest news on union approval, impact of paid sick leave on mortality, life expectancy and more. Next check out On A Beach exploring the history of cyber insurance and current industry challenges Do not miss Back to School, exploring children’s physical and mental health as the school year starts. Last, but not least, check out In Their Eyes and my personal favorite Cotton Mill Girl: Behind Lewis Hine’s Photograph & Child Labor Series.

I hope you enjoy the following:

1. Front Page News

2. On a Beach

3. Back to School

4. In Their Eyes

Enjoy the weekend!

Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
AEPC President
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]

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