Each year on Labor Day, we reflect and celebrate how far working families have come and the contributions organized labor has made to all of our lives. We owe a debt to those who came before us and won retirement security, the eight-hour workday, weekends, paid vacations, and employer-provided health care. Each of these landmark improvements in working conditions happened because workers like us stood strong to protect and improve our hard-earned rights.

Since 1894, we’ve celebrated the contributions and achievements of American workers. The Federal holiday grew out of violent clashes between labor and police when thousands took to the streets to demand an eight-hour workday. It was the height of the Industrial Revolution and the average American worked 12-hour days, seven days a week, just to eke out a basic living.

Many of the working conditions and benefits we take for granted came from these early battles. In each case, these victories were the result of a strong, active membership and the work of thousands of members and leaders who stood strong in the face of adversity to fight for their families.

This Labor Day, we should be mindful of our role in labor’s present and future. When we choose our union, when we stand up for ourselves and for working families, we choose the opportunity to make our lives better.

There’s much to celebrate this Labor Day, chief among them the ability to organize for power and to stand together to make change.

And … you can enjoy Labor Day with your families at one of the many events—hosted by labor unions and councils—happening across the state. We’ve gathered a list of those events here.