Click on the link here for Audio Player – President Roosevelt – Labor Day Message – September 1, 1941 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
As a reminder that, even though today is a holiday, it’s because of the efforts of labor and the struggles of those workers to achieve fair and equitable rights and decent wages for all that we celebrate those efforts.
Labor Unions have been around for a reason. Contrary to what you may have heard, Labor Unions came about as the direct result of poor and unsafe working conditions, no minimum wage, no time off, child labor, unspecified working hours and no medical benefits.
And even though there have been movements afoot to gut those basic provisions, labor remains a strong force in the workplace.
In 1941, Labor was an integral part of the American way of life. And on Labor Day of that year, President Roosevelt gave a radio address, acknowledging the struggles and accomplishments of the Labor Movement in America.
So even though it’s a time off, last vacation before Thanksgiving and the end of Summer, it’s still a day for reflection on how most everything that has been achieved in this country has been through struggle and sacrifice.
True in 1941 – true now.
Here is FDR’s Labor Day Address, as given on September 1, 1941
Contrary to the spirit of Labor Day, some of us don’t get those days off, those benefits, that minimum wage. No – we’re sweating it out here, posting history and hoping you’ll chip in a few bucks to keep us afloat. Many of you have – but a lot of you haven’t – and maybe you don’t think hearing about the state of Labor in the 1940s is all that interesting to you and you really don’t need to support this site or the Archive making all these sound files available to you. The fact is, we need your support – and even though you’ve probably been deluged with appeals from Candidates for upcoming elections to the point of harassing you, we still need your support. I don’t want to sound bleak, but if we can’t get enough support for what we do, we’re going to have to shut it down at the end of the year. I don’t want to do that – but if nobody wants to support what we’re all about, then there’s no point knocking ourselves out for something you don’t care about. But if you do, and you want to support us – and you want to make your Tax Deductible Contribution to help preserve history, then please; click on the headline below our Piano Playing Mascot and make your pledge today. We have only a few days left before we end this Fundraiser and we desperately need your support.