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Labor Day 2021

By Dennis R. Pierce
BLET National President

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, September 4 — Labor Day is dedicated to protecting the social and economic achievements of American workers. It is also an annual national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our nation.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen was founded on May 8, 1863, and our members were among the first to lay down their lives and fight for the rights that you enjoy today. Many Americans — not just railroaders — benefit from the sacrifices made by these early rail workers.

Organized labor, through its membership, has consistently contributed substantially to creating the highest standard of living and the highest levels of worker production the world has ever known. In acknowledging workers and unions, we are acknowledging their contributions toward the creation of the American middle class, leading to the betterment of our society today, and also labor’s struggle to provide a better future for our children and grandchildren. Since our founding over 158 years ago, members of our Brotherhood have fought, and died, to secure the contracts and protections that we enjoy today.

Many facets of American life that we have come to regard as inalienable rights were fought for and won by our brothers and sisters who came before us. But our work is far from finished. We are still confronted with arrogant employers that treat their essential employees more like expendable employees. We continue to fight to bring a fair national contract to our involved members, all the while fighting daily to protect the jobs and benefits of all engineers and conductors.

On this Labor Day, I again ask that you be involved in your Union; we are stronger together as we work to protect and improve what those before us fought so hard to gain.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

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