What this Labor Day Means to Me


What this Labor Day Means to Me

by Tom Perez, Chair
Democratic National Committee
26th United States Secretary of Labor

As I've spent the past couple of days reflecting on what this Labor Day means to me, I keep coming back to one particular idea. I hope you'll lend me a moment to share it with you today:

To me, unity has always been one of America's greatest strengths.

The very idea of unity -- of harnessing our collective power -- is what helped build our American middle class and what continues to fuel our labor movement to this day. The simple yet powerful principle that we can accomplish far more together than we can as individuals has guided the giants of the labor movement as they've fought for a better, stronger, and fairer economy for all of us.

It's no exaggeration to say that the American labor movement transformed our nation. It made our economy the envy of the world. From the 40-hour workweek and overtime pay to workplace safety and the fight for equal pay for equal work, American workers have unionized and organized for the better wages, benefits, and conditions we all deserve.

But despite all that unions have done for our country, our workers are currently under all-out assault. Instead of building an economy that works for everyone, the Trump administration and Republicans continue to attack unions while rewarding huge corporations and their wealthy allies at the top. Donald Trump has tried to weaken federal unions, blocked an expansion of overtime pay protections, and appointed anti-union justices like Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. And even now, in the midst of the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression, Trump continues to leave workers out in the cold.

Yet through some of the darkest moments in our nation's history, workers and unions have organized and mobilized with an unshakable fighting spirit. It is without a doubt that right now is another one of those dark moments. But I have all the confidence in the world that America will choose unity and persevere as we have always done. As the old union slogan goes: United we bargain, divided we beg.

While Republicans take aim at the labor movement, Democrats will keep advocating for workers to have a seat at the table and a voice in decision-making -- because these fights aren’t just about dollars, they’re about dignity.

Over the next 57 days, voters across the country are making an important choice: Will we succumb to Donald Trump's message of division, smallness, and pettiness? Or will we rise above our differences and come together to heal our country and build a brighter tomorrow? Joe Biden's vision for our future is one that will celebrate, strengthen, and empower the unions and workers who have built America brick by brick. So today, on this Labor Day, I have never been more proud of our party and all that we are fighting for.

Together, united as one movement, Democrats will win.

In unity,

Tom

P.S. Joe Biden knows well that strong unions built the great American middle class, and he has a robust plan to strengthen and empower collective bargaining and unions. Voters have already begun casting their ballots in some states, so we don't have much time left before the results of this election are decided.

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