East County News Service
September 6, 2015 (San Diego)— Hundreds of thousands of workers for federal contractors will now receive paid leave when they are sick, thanks to an executive order signed by President Barack Obama in honor of Labor Day.
The U.S. Department of Labor has set up a special section on its website devoted to Labor Day news. It notes that when workers prosper, the economy prospers too. “Shared prosperity is not just about economic fairness, but also national strength,” the Labor Department’s website states.
But as Americans celebrate the holiday, many are unaware of the origins of Labor Day, which has its roots in the Industrial Revolution, when many U.S. workers toiled 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Wages were low and factory workers included children as young as 5 years old, toiling amid often dangerous and unsanitary conditions.