Gerald R. Ford photo

Labor Day Statement.

September 02, 1974

I SALUTE the working men and women of America on the 80th anniversary of labor's special day. Their strength of mind, heart, and hand continues to guide our destiny.

As American society has changed in modern times, the role and needs of labor have also changed. A need for organization arose and was filled.

Today, therefore, we salute not only the 93 million men and women in the labor forces but also the organizations which represent labor so well. The goals of those organizations were eloquently summed up by Samuel Gompers 81 years ago, when he said that labor wants "more school houses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more constant work and less crime; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures .... "

The organized efforts of America's working men and women have been instrumental in helping move this Nation a long way towards those goals. Today, the Nation needs their support in a new struggle for productivity--for more purchasing power and less inflation. I am confident that the men and women of the American labor movement know that the struggle against inflation is a joint venture by all segments of the American people and that they will do their part.

On this Labor Day, I say to my fellow Americans who have provided us with so much in the past and from whom we expect even more in the future--thank you.

Gerald R. Ford, Labor Day Statement. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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