Happy Labor Day.
Like all immigrant groups, the Irish arriving in the US faced exploitation and discrimination. Back-breaking work laying railroads, building the great cities of our nation, picking fruit as farm labors, cleaning and cooking as domestics and stitchers bent over sewing machines in sweatshops.
Those that survived prospered, driven by the idea that their children should not face the same injustices. Many of the Irish became labor leaders standing against exploitation. Some paid the ultimate price such as the Molly Maguires.
Today we give thanks to those leaders, Mother Jones, Mike Quill, and the executed leader of 1916 James Connolly.
We salute the current leaders of the labor movement for their work in defending workers'. We also pay tribute to the James Connolly Irish American Labor Coalition who has continued the link with Ireland.
It was Connolly who wrote, “The Cause of Labor is the Cause of Ireland. The Cause of Ireland is the Cause of Labor”
We remember with pride all who came before us and those who continue to stand against exploitation and discrimination.
We stand by the cause of labor and the cause of Ireland.