Capital Advisory Group September 2018


119 Old State Rd., Ellisville, MO 63021

SEPT. 2018


doing dangerous tasks, like cleaning machinery. Work-related accidents that caused injury and death were far too common. The terrible conditions eventually gave rise to resistance from workers who couldn’t take it any longer. They joined forces and formed labor organizations to ask for better wages and reasonable hours. Across Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, labor leaders gathered to get employers’ attention and demand better rights. Similar groups were also forming in Canada, where unions were illegal. Finally, in 1872, workers marched to the door of the Canadian Prime Minister to demand the right to organize. He gave in, and since then, the march has been a Canadian tradition. In fact, Canadian celebrations may have even played a part in the conception of Labor Day in the U.S. After seeing celebrations in Canada, Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and member of the American Federation

of Labor, suggested that New York do something similar to celebrate its workers. Still, despite victories in some areas, tensions between workers and factory owners remained high in the U.S., even as people began talking about a Labor Day. In 1894, the situation rose to a boil during the Pullman Strike. American Railway Union laborers went on strike against the Pullman Company. As the strike escalated, President Grover Cleveland called in the Army and U.S.Marshals, and several workers in Chicago lost their lives in the aftermath. Six days after the strike, in an effort to appease the workers and pay respect to the unions, President Cleveland made Labor Day a national holiday. As you enjoy your final barbecues of the summer, give acknowledgment to those early laborers who fought for workers’ rights and helped make our country what it is today.

For many of us, Labor Day is a nice long weekend at the beginning of September when we can enjoy that last summer barbecue or vacation. But there’s more to it than that. The holiday celebrates the hardworking people of our country and dates back to the beginning of unions and a time when workers’ rights were not recognized. Let’s go back to the 18th century — to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. There were many jobs at that time thanks to factories mass- producing goods. But as employers prospered, workers were not treated well. They were asked to work long hours for low wages in dangerous roles. The factory managers saw them as replaceable parts rather than people. Living conditions for factory workers were also grim since they had only recently moved to the city and resided in cramped quarters that left much to be desired. In those days, children also worked very long hours

-Jeff and John Zufall

(636) 394-5524 1

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