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Labor Day is about more than football and Barbecue

By Rep. Darrio Melton

This weekend was an eventful time for Alabama. We took advantage of the long weekend by heading to the lake with friends or grilling out with family. We saw the first week of SEC football and we caught up on some needed R&R.

But this weekend is about more than barbecue, football, and a long weekend.  It’s about the strides we’ve made as a nation to protect working men and women and ensure quality of life for those who make this country great.

The labor movement has been integral to our development as a nation.  Unions fighting to make life a little easier for working people like us gave us some benefits we don’t think twice about today: minimum wage, overtime pay, paycheck fairness laws, weekends, 40-hour work weeks and health and safety regulations.  They also fought to establish child labor laws and increase access to public education so that all children have a shot at the American Dream.

Because I firmly believe that every person between the ages of five and 65 deserves to be in a good job or a good school, I thank the labor movement.

Because I believe that its the working men and women who make America great, not the huge corporations who move offshore to avoid paying taxes, I thank the labor movement.

And because I believe that hard work should pay off, and that the hardest working among us shouldn’t need to look to safety nets to survive, I’m proud to work to continue the labor movement by fighting to raise the minimum wage and protect health care access for hard working Alabamians.

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So as we all head back to work from a long weekend, I want to thank you for keeping up the good work and keeping America running, even at a time when it’s been tough to do.  It’s hard working men and women doing everything they can to provide for their families that will build the next generation of leaders.

Thank you for all you do, and thank you to the brave men and women who stand for what’s right.  Happy Labor Day.

Representative Darrio Melton is a Democrat from Selma. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010.

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