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
- U.S. Approval of Labor Unions at Highest Point Since 1965 (Gallup)
- Access to paid sick leave linked to lower mortality rate among US adult workers (ScienceDaily)
- Pandemic-era telehealth expansion reduced opioid overdoses, study shows (Fierce Healthcare)
- Fewer hospitalizations for home-based cardiac rehab patients (MedicalXpress)
- U.S. life expectancy drops sharply, the second consecutive decline (STAT)
2. On a Beach
- Biggest Healthcare Data Breaches Reported This Year, So Far (HealthITSecurity)
- Changing cyber insurance guidance from Lloyd’s reflects a market in turmoil. Rising ransomware attacks and higher payout demands have battered the insurance industry, leaving many organizations exposed and vulnerable. (Cybersecurity Dive)
- A Brief History of Cyber Insurance. It begins on a beach. (Slate)
3. Back to School
- The Most Common Form of Bullying Isn’t Physical or Verbal (HealthDay)
- Children’s sleep linked to brain development (National Institutes of Health)
- DEA Warns of Brightly-Colored Fentanyl Used to Target Young Americans (Drug Enforcement Administration)
- Children’s Risk of Suicide Increases on School Days. Unlike in adults, suicide risk among children is lowest during the summer and higher during the school year. (Scientific American)
4. In Their Eyes
- Labor Daze – Pride, Chaos and Kegs on Labor’s First ‘Day’ (Dept. of Labor)
- Cotton Mill Girl: Behind Lewis Hine’s Photograph & Child Labor Series (TIME)
- How Lewis Hine’s photos helped shed light on child labor in the US (Vox)
- The Forgotten Story Of The Radium Girls, Whose Deaths Saved Thousands Of Workers’ Lives (Buzzfeed)
- “Kiss of Death” at New England textile mills (Historic Ipswich)
- Girls taking time checks, Westinghouse works (Nation Archives)
Enjoy the weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]