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Mayor Vincent C. Gray Thanks District Workers and Salutes Role of Unions in Labor Day Message

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Thanks District Workers and Salutes Role of Unions in Labor Day Message

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Thanks District Workers and Salutes Role of Unions in Labor Day Message

WASHINGTON, DC) – In honor of Labor Day on Monday, Mayor Vincent C. Gray today honored the important role that organized labor has played in the life of our city and country and thanked District government employees in particular for their hard work and the sacrifices they make to serve the people of the District of Columbia every day. Below is his Labor Day message:

“As we approach this Labor Day, I am thankful for the important role that organized labor – in both public-sector and private-sector unions – has played in the life of our city and our nation. Congress and President Cleveland first declared Labor Day a holiday in 1894 in response to the deaths of 13 railroad workers in the Pullman Strike, when Eugene Debs and the American Railway Union protested unfair labor practices. This is a stark reminder of our forebears’ sacrifice – and the contributions the labor movement has made in the century-plus since – to make our country a better and more just place for all.

When I ran for Mayor, I promised to back up my verbal commitment to labor with actions, and we have worked hard on improving the relationship between unions and management. Not only have we signed major labor agreements, but we’ve also re-established the Labor-Management Partnership Council, and we continue to make progress.

Today, I’m especially thankful for the hard work that thousands of District government employees perform every day in service to our city’s residents, visitors and businesses. On behalf of our entire city, I say, ‘Thank you.’ A dedication to hard, honest work is one of the things that have made our country great, and many of you go above and beyond the call of duty every day.”