September 05, 2007

The Real Labor Day is May Day

Geoff Nunberg points out that Labor Day in the United States has been bleached almost completely of its association with labor unions. That was the intention. Labor Day is celebrated at the beginning of September only in the United States and a few other countries such as Canada. Just about everywhere else, Labor Day is May Day, May 1st. May Day is the real labor day. The reason that a September Labor Day was adopted in the United States was in order to avoid the association of May Day with socialism, the more militant wing of the labor movement, and internationalism. American Labor Day started out as a watered down version of May Day. That it has all but lost its association with labor unions reflects not only the decline in influence of unions but the intention of the US government back in 1894.

Posted by Bill Poser at September 5, 2007 01:45 AM