Secretary of Labor Tom Perez sent the below message to White House email lists. Didn't get the message? Sign up here for updates.
Labor Day is about more than picnics and parades. We celebrate this day to reflect on America's labor movement — the men and women who have helped build this country and our middle class. Because they’ve spoken up together and demanded fairness, we can all enjoy things like the 40-hour workweek, overtime pay, minimum wage, safer workplaces, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and retirement plans.
For generations, hardworking Americans have been raising their voices, together. Giving people a voice at work – the ability to organize and negotiate for their fair share of the value they helped create – is absolutely essential to a growing, vibrant middle class. For the past seven and a half years, President Obama has worked not only to grow the economy but to create a balanced economy, where everyone’s hard work is rewarded, where everyone gets a fair shake, where everyone has the chance to get ahead. Simply put, America is stronger when more people have more.
As the President has said, all of that progress is stamped with the union label. And it's all fueled by a simple belief: that our economy works better when it works for everybody.
That’s the spirit that’s made the progress of these past seven and a half years possible. Not only have businesses added 15.1 million jobs since early 2010, and we've seen the longest streak of total job growth on record, but we've cut the unemployment rate in half since the depths of the recession. So many American families are better off this Labor Day than they were seven years ago.
But we still have work to do. We can only make progress -- like raising the minimum wage and expanding access to paid leave -- if hardworking men and women raise their voices.
Happy Labor Day. Let's continue standing with our workers -- not just today, but every day of the year.
Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, @LaborSec