Labor Day is particularly significant this year for the Labor Movement. We saw the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and the election of his replacement, Liz Shuler, who is the first woman to serve at the AFL-CIO's helm and the election of Ms. Shuler's replacement, Fred Redmond, the first African American to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer at the Federation.
All of this has happened while our nation is still in turmoil. The pandemic is strangling our economy and endangering the lives and livelihoods of our friends, family members and colleagues. And now we have the aftermath of Hurricane Ida's devastation in Louisiana and the end of our 20-year-long war in Afghanistan.
These events have us reeling with raw emotion. There's loss, fear, and uncertainty, but there's also optimism and hope for our future.
Legislation before the Senate, the PRO Act, gives us hope that some of the workers' rights that have been eroded by corporate foes could be restored and strengthened. Living wage legislation is gaining momentum across the country, and many of our brothers and sisters are striking against unsafe working conditions and substandard wages and benefits.
We're watching what we can hope is a resurgence of Labor. Workers across our nation are fighting back against employers who seek to quash unions through intimidation, stall tactics and legislation. We're watching workers stand up for themselves, for respect on the job and for appropriate pay.
We can all do our part to support them. We can honor their boycotts and their picket lines. We can offer to help our brothers and sisters looking to organize a union in their workplace.
This Labor Day, we can resolve to look for the Union Label. We can seek out providers of union services in hotels and restaurants and post offices.
We can continue to honor the promise of a better future long sought by our founding union brothers and sisters.
We must remind everyone that we, LABOR, strengthened the United States and we, LABOR, built its middle class.
We face a challenge and an opportunity this year to support both union-made goods and services and expand the ideals of unionism to all Americans. This Labor Day resolve to buy union and shop union.
From Labor Day, Monday, September 6, through Sunday September 12, 2021, American labor will observe Union Label Week — the time traditionally set aside for union families and all consumers to make a special effort to support good jobs by looking for union-âÂÂ€ÂÂ�made goods and union-produced services when they shop.
“I believe in my bones the labor movement is the single greatest organized force for progress. This is a moment for us to lead societal transformations—to leverage our power to bring women and people of color from the margins to the center—at work, in our unions and in our economy, and to be the center of gravity for incubating new ideas that will unleash unprecedented union growth.”
— Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO President