Pittsburgh, PA - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released a statement on Labor Day:
"On this Labor Day we’re thinking of so many hard working Americans and in particular, the women and men of organized labor, who worked and sacrificed to build the middle class and help move our country forward. In 1894, Labor Day first became a national holiday; at that time workers had few protections in the workplace and their voices were often drowned out. Many of our families, including mine, saw up-close how difficult it was for workers who descended into the depths and darkness of our state’s coal mines. Those workers, their struggles and sacrifices, are a source of inspiration for all of us today.
"And we need that inspiration.
"While there’s no doubt we have made substantial progress for workers since that first national holiday, we have much more work to do. We have a lot of work to do to raise wages and create good-paying jobs that can support a family. Too many of our nation’s retired coal miners, including many in Pennsylvania, are being denied the pensions they worked all their lives for and still more struggle to receive the black lung benefits they need. Too many workers are denied their right to organize and work in a safe environment. And too many families lack basic protections like paid and sick leave.
"On this Labor Day, we remember the work of the past but recommit ourselves to the work of today- the job of making sure our workers have a level playing field and receive a fair shot. When we level the playing field by fixing bad trade deals, holding cheaters like China accountable and investing in our infrastructure then we will begin the work of rebuilding the middle class.
"And even as we mark this holiday, our thoughts and prayers are with those in Texas and Louisiana who are dealing with the aftermath Hurricane Harvey."