EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – As Monday is Labor Day and while for some this indicates the end of summer, many are recognizing the social and economic achievements of workers across the U.S.

On the first Monday of every September, we celebrate. 

Every calendar year, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. 

It was 1882 when workers took unpaid leave off in New York city, Labor Day began and was declared by workers who took unpaid leave off but 12 years later in 1894, President Grover Cleaveland declared it a national holiday. 

“Labor day is a national holiday to recognize working people in the United States as well as organize labor and union members,” Montes said.

Communications director at the local 59, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Hector Montes says, although factory workers, truck drivers are union members. The largest group of union members are teachers because of their entity. 

“There’s the AFLCIO, there’s the teamsters among the most well regarded and well known unions. There’s also unions for farm workers, most people are familiar with the history of Cesar Chavez and the united farm workers. And so Labor Unions can vary from very small to very large,” Montes said.  

Adding that farmers are still relying on their individual relationships with their different employers.

“Labor Union is basically an organization of workers who choose to come together to be represented collectively, so that the employees don’t have to deal with the employer, always one on one. So they’re are rules and guidelines that both employers and employees can follow,” Montes said.  

With that being said, according to Montes, truck drivers are the most unionized workers.

“Workers who have union contracts who are unionized, do make more money and do have more benefits because they’re not relying upon the employer to just give them wages and benefits. They’re able to negotiate what those wages are and what those benefits are,” Montes said.

Although the pandemic affected union members, having a union has made it easier for workers to deal with their employees when situations like this arise. 

Courtesy: AFSCME

But one thing is certain, Labor Day is a day to not only recognize working individuals across the country but bring different labor unions together as well as working people here in the United States.

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