From better wages to the weekend to safe working conditions, all Iowans benefit today from the hard work of the labor movement over the years. On Monday, September 3rd, we will again recognize the women and men who work in our factories, our hospitals, our restaurants, our cities, our schools, and everywhere that a service or product is produced or sold.

Labor Day has its roots in trade union celebrations in the 19th Century. Unions began choosing days to celebrate each year, and these celebrations grew until states began recognizing the days as state holidays. These celebrations spread nationwide with many states adopting the holiday. By the time congress passed Labor Day legislation, 23 states already had celebrations.

While we’ve made great progress in the last century improving the lives of workers, it’s important to recognize the new challenges Iowa workers face today. Too many Iowa families are being squeezed by growing income inequality and wages that aren’t keeping up with the rising costs of raising a family. Too many hard working Iowans no longer have a say in their own workplace and don’t have health care or can’t afford to get sick or take care of a child who is sick because they won’t get paid.

Today, more than 80 countries worldwide celebrate Labor Day. To find Labor Day events near you visit: