Spend some time this Labor Day thinking about the American worker.
It is easy to be sceptical about the holiday. It was created by President Grover Cleveland in 1894, after he sent thousands to break a railway strike in 27 states. This led to over 50 deaths.
Although workers were granted a day off, it didn't make a significant difference to their lives. Workers were first granted a minimum wage and a 44-hour workweek in 1938 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Fair Labor Standards Act. It was reduced to 40 hours in the following two years.
There is still much work to be done in 2021. Since 2009, the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour. For the fourth consecutive year, homelessness has increased. All this while CEO salaries continue to soar.
This is a look at the struggles of workers for better wages and working conditions in America's history.
In 1931, striking miners in Ward (West Virginia) were evicted. 600 miners and their families were forced from their homes by the company. Credit: Bettmann Archive
Clerks in Chicago, Illinois in 1946 stage a retail strike against Sears. Credit: Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. leads the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" in 1963. Credit: Arnie Sachs/Mediapunch/Shutterstock
Cesar Chavez (third right) and Coretta S. King (fourth right) led a lettuce boycott march down New York City streets circa 1973. Credit to Bob Parent/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
New York City protests Occupy Wall Street activists Credit: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images
Marjory Sidman (right), Dorothy Allen, Mary Carter and Eleanor Lloyd picket in front the Actors Equity Association headquarters in New York City, 1919. Credit: Bettmann Archive
New York City: Girls protest child labor in 1909. Credit: Buyenlarge/Getty Images
After Gov. Scott Walker delivers a speech in 2011. Credit to Allen Fredrickson/Icon/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images