The first Monday of September means a day off work (for some), the end of summer, return to school and the start of a season busier than the one before it.
But Labor Day claims a history full of violence and victory, a “workingmen’s holiday” first celebrated by the New York City-based Central Labor Union in 1882. It became a federal holiday four years later.
While created to observe the social and economic contributions of the average American worker, it’s also a reminder of the struggles faced by the labor force.
Minimum wage has fallen far behind inflation, leaving low-wage earners unable to afford the cost of living, especially in wealthy regions like the Bay Area. While the tech boom has brought prosperity to the Silicon Valley, it’s also created an underclass of mostly minority workers who make paltry wages and few benefits.
San Jose Inside will return with new stories Tuesday.