SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A large crowd turned out at the Lackawanna County Courthouse this Labor Day to pay tribute to American labor, and a man who did so much for workers in this country.
The Scranton Central Labor Union held its annual Labor Day event at the John Mitchell statue at the courthouse in Scranton. The event was held at the site of the massive coal strike of 1902.
Mitchell was an influential labor leader responsible for many of the benefits we take for granted today.
“John Mitchell here, you know, created the 40-hour work week, eight-hour day, sick time, vacation, health benefits, pensions, a lot of things that people don’t realize unions created….And basically child labor laws too,” Scranton Central Labor Council president Eric Schubert said.
The Labor Day holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894.