On Labor Day, Much To Celebrate — And To Denounce

One hundred forty years ago, Labor Day was born and bred in New York City.
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For many, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer — a day for parties, going to the beach, and cookouts. For others, it’s a day for sales and back-to-school shopping. But for working people on Staten Island, it’s always meant so much more. This year is no exception as we reflect on all the important protections we’ve secured through the collective power of unions.

We’ve witnessed a historic resurgence of labor activism fueled by workers demanding union representation across traditionally non-unionized tech, media, service, and logistics industries.

Workers are simply fed up with working long hours in poor conditions for low pay, especially as America’s largest corporations report making tens of billions in record profits. Not to mention, the average gap between CEOs and US workers surged to 670-to-1; at Amazon, it’s 6,474 to 1.

Working people deserve better pay and to be treated with dignity, which is why we need unions, and America agrees.

Throughout the pandemic, it’s become increasingly clear to the public that workers are the backbone of our economy and deserve better pay and greater worker protections. Today, a record 71% of Americans approve of labor unions, a level not seen in nearly six decades.

I, for one, could not be prouder when this past Spring, workers at Amazon's Staten Island facility known as JFK8 – in one of the most significant victories for organized labor in a generation – voted to form Amazon’s first-ever union in the US. What’s more, they did in spite of Amazon spending millions running every dirty trick in their union-busting playbook.