Labor Day weekend is about much more than just an extra day off, and before we wind up the holiday weekend I want to take a minute to recognize and honor the reason we get to celebrate Labor Day -- the labor movement.
As the son of Peruvian immigrants who worked in manufacturing -- my mom, on a factory line, and my dad, a machinist, who is still a shop steward for his local IBEW -- I experienced first hand the impact that a good paying union job has on a young family like mine. Their advocacy for workers like my parents benefited me and my brothers, who were the first in our family to go to college and serve in the military.
For generations, hardworking Americans have fought side-by-side to demand fair pay and safer working conditions. And that powerful movement built the middle class and won all of us benefits that we get to enjoy every day, like a 40-hour workweek, overtime pay, and a minimum wage, and their efforts are why so many of us have access to employer covered health insurance, Social Security, and Medicare.
Our country and economy has grown so much because of their work. But there is still a lot more to do to give everyday workers a fair shot at getting ahead in our ever changing, global economy. Starting with equal pay for equal work for women and people of color, paid maternity leave, paid family medical leave, fair scheduling, and income equality.
For all the labor movement has fought for and the work we will continue to do together, I hope you will join me in saying, “Thank you, labor."
Candidate for Nebraska Legislature, District 7
Omaha Public Schools Board Member, Subdistrict 9