Labor Day is on the first Monday of September every year. It was originally organized to affirm the dignity and worth of workers.
Labor days are celebrated annually at different times around the world to celebrate workers and their contributions to the economies of their countries.
Labor Day began in Canada in 1872, when the Toronto Trades Assembly organised the first significant workers' demonstration to support exploited workers. In the US, the first Labor Day, held in 1883, stemmed from the desire of the Central Labor Union to create a workers' holiday.
Labor Day is a day of rest or the last chance for many people to go on trips before the summer ends. For students, it is the last chance to organize parties before school starts again. In some neighborhoods, people organize fireworks displays, barbecues and public arts or sports events. The American football season starts on or around Labor Day and many teams play their first game of the season during Labor Day weekend.
How the meaning and structure of work has changed since the late 19 Century
During our great grandparents’ era, scientific management, based on the belief that most workers were stupid, introduced authoritarian procedures to increase productivity. Money was their reward. Industrial capitalism and the corporate bureaucracy strengthened the idea that only top management had intelligence to make decisions. Unions organized to give workers a greater voice.
In the 1920s, management began questioning these beliefs. Elton Mayo’s research in the 30s demonstrated workers were more motivated by recognition and social interaction than by material rewards. Companies subsequently introduced various incentives to increase employee motivation and productivity.
Ongoing technological, economic, and social changes are forcing us to continue to reassess our views of job satisfaction, productivity, career advancement, and retirement.
Are you ready for the changes and challenges of the 2050s and beyond?
What’s next for you? "Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life," by Dr. Carole Kanchier, shows how to move forward.