LABOR DAY THEN & NOW—A DAY FOR THE PEOPLE, A DAY FOR HOPE
Labor Day is about more than throwing some burgers on the grill and kicking back with a cold beer to enjoy a day off from work. Don’t get us wrong—we love a well-deserved breather from the daily grind just as much as you do—but we also realize that this day of rest is an opportunity—a chance to recognize the determination, perseverance and resiliency of the men and women whose hard work has made American industry what it is today.
The story of Labor Day’s origin speaks volumes to the distinct qualities that makes this country and its perennial economic vigor truly great. Flash back to New York City in 1882. The labor movement had been growing steadily stronger, with many of the unions finding prosperity by joining together into one Central Labor Union consisting of members from many local unions. These representatives proposed that all workers should join together in a showing of solidarity for a celebration of the American worker. They chose to hold the event in Wendel’s Elm Park at 92nd Street and 9th Avenue—New York City’s largest park at the time—and set the date for September 5, 1882. By June, the Central Labor Union had sold over 20,000 tickets with the proceeds going to each local union selling them. By the time August rolled around, the Union passed an official resolution “that the 5th of September be proclaimed a general holiday for the workingmen in this city.” On the morning of September 5th, the Union worried that the celebration would be a colossal failure—most of the parade’s participants would have to lose a day’s pay to take part in the festivities—and, at first, it appeared they were correct. When the parade started, only a few workers composed the procession with hundreds of onlookers standing on the sidewalk mocking them. But then something remarkable happened—200 workers and a band from the Jewelers’ Union appeared and joined in. Then came a contingent of bricklayers with yet another band in tow. By the time the parade reached the park, it was estimated that there were over 10,000 marchers in the parade to support the workers. Wendel’s Elm Park was decorated with the flags of several nations. Everyone picnicked, drank beer and took in speeches from the union leaders. In the evening, even more people gathered to watch fireworks and dance. The newspapers declared the event a resounding success, with the New York Times labeling it a “day of the people.”
Fichtner Services is honored to count itself as part of the great American working tradition. We strive every day to mirror the ingenuity, spirit, and commitment to excellence that has made the building industry a cornerstone of the nationwide economy. Yes, we’ll be barbecuing and enjoying the company of friends and family just like you on Labor Day—but we’ll also pause to take inspiration from our predecessors; we’ll take heart knowing that we will be able to answer the challenges of the modern business world just as they did; and—perhaps most importantly—we’ll realize that this is still a “day of the people” just as it was a century ago. That’s what drives the Fichtner Services team. We owe “the people” of our community the same quality and service they exemplify in their respective vocations that constitute this great society. It’s that obligation that inspires our success, and it’s that obligation that sets us apart from the competition. When you choose Fichtner Services, you choose a partner. A partner in the great American working tradition—and, as history goes to show, that tradition always delivers.