Franklin D. Roosevelt

Labor Day Message to the Workers of America.

September 06, 1936

To the Workers of the United States:

I send hearty Labor Day greetings to America's workers everywhere. I feel that there is cause for rejoicing among wage earners as Labor's annual day approaches. Labor Day is a day on which it is natural for us to take account of stock to see where we stand with respect to those vital problems which affect so profoundly the lives and destinies of the Nation's workers. We have made progress. We must continue to move forward.

Employment and weekly pay envelopes have increased steadily during the past three years, stimulated by the spending of the Federal Government in useful ways. This increased buying power of wage earners and farmers has resulted in increased sales by merchants, more orders for factories, and rising profits for investors.

We have witnessed significant changes during the past few years, changes which necessitate special reconsideration of basic problems with a view to finding a new approach to their solution. Our aim must be to achieve and maintain a national economy whose factors are so finely balanced that the worker is always sure of a job which will guarantee a living wage. By a living wage I mean a wage which will insure the worker and the worker's dependents a living in accordance with American standards of decency, happiness and self-respect. The wage earners of America do not ask for more. They will not be satisfied with less.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Labor Day Message to the Workers of America. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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