Ronald Reagan picture

Message on the Observance of Labor Day

September 05, 1982

It gives me great pleasure to pay tribute to the working men and women of America on Labor Day. This occasion brings deserved attention to those who have toiled to build our nation and to shape a prosperous life out of the dreams of early immigrants. Today we recognize the honor and value of all work and the great distinction that flows from a job well done.

From those who first carved a nation out of the wilderness to those who helped cross, settle, and build this country, the working people have made immeasurable contributions to the advancement of our way of life. Through their spirit, minds, and muscles, America's workers have created a modern industrial giant. They have sustained the traditional values of family, work, and neighborhood while serving as the bulwark of American democracy and lending support to the fundamental tenets of our free enterprise system.

As champions of collective bargaining, our workers have furthered a process that has played a major role in America's economic miracle. The legal and proper use of collective bargaining is of primary importance to the continuing development of our nation and the quest for human dignity.

We face many challenges to the future we all seek for this land—challenges this Administration has addressed through our efforts to revitalize the economy. Following the dictum of Thomas Jefferson not to "take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned," we have reduced taxes and improved incentives for expansion that will rekindle economic growth. By working together we can successfully deal with the problems facing us and usher this nation into a new era of achievement and progress that will be a beacon to all the world.


Ronald Reagan, Message on the Observance of Labor Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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