It’s that time of year again – Labor Day is upon us, and we all need to take some time to remember those who put it on the line every day to make sure we all have the essential services we need, whether it’s your local cashier or the big construction company contract worker. Labor Day is far more than a day where you have a cookout with family and friends. It’s a day to honor workers all across the nation.

Still, many people don’t really know what the holiday is, what its origins are and why it’s so important. Let’s look at a few important facts you should know about Labor Day and why, as a contracting business, a national surety agency helps protect your workers.

A Holiday for American Workers

The first Labor Day celebration was a festival that was held in New York City over 135 years ago in 1882. It consisted of a parade that was so popular, they brought it back the next year, and other cities began to follow suit. States started to introduce legislation which made Labor Day official as a state holiday, with the Federal government following in these footsteps in 1894. Since then it’s been a national holiday to recognize the contributions workers make to our society.

The Founding Father(s) of Labor Day

There’s some debate as to who exactly founded Labor Day, but in general it usually comes down to one of two names: Peter or Matthew Maguire. Both were local union leaders and did their part to establish the first celebration which carries on to this very day.

Where’s the Music?

The first Labor Day parade arrived with much fanfare and anticipation by workers in New York. The streets were lined with eager spectators who couldn’t wait to see the march. As the appointed time approached, however, the march didn’t begin. Someone had overlooked one of the most important parts of any parade – there was no music!

As it seemed like the parade wouldn’t happen, the Jewelers Union of Newark showed up with a band, saving the day. So it was that jewelry makers were the ones who saved Labor Day when it was in danger of never starting at all.

The Role of Unions

We live in a world today where labor laws exist to protect the rights of workers across the country. Many people don’t realize that unions are responsible for the existence of those laws. Without unions, the fair day’s wage people are entitled to receive wouldn’t exist. In addition, labor unions, as we’ve seen, played a major role in both the establishment of Labor Day and in the success of that first parade.

From worker’s rights to the ability to have a work/life balance, unions have been instrumental in our rights.

National Surety Services

Of course, contractors need to protect their workers as well, and that’s where National Surety Services comes into play. Being properly bonded provides peace of mind to let your subcontractors, union or otherwise, know they will be paid for the work they put forward. If you’re looking for a large contractors standard surety program, NSSI is here to help. Learn about who we are and what we do and get in touch today!