On September 1, 2017, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) – an electrician by trade and a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee – announced the Peter J. McGuire Labor Day Landmark Act that designates the Peter J. McGuire Memorial and Gravesite located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, as a National Historic Landmark.
“Peter J. McGuire first proposed the concept of Labor Day – a day to honor the American worker – over 130 years ago. He understood the American workforce is our greatest renewable resource and honoring his achievements with this landmark is the least we can do,” said Congressman Norcross. “Today, some people have unfortunately forgotten what Peter J. McGuire knew back in the 1880s, that honoring the value and dignity of work, paying a fair wage and respecting employees is good for business and good for America.”
Norcross added: “I spent decades wiring buildings, lighting bridges and fighting for better working conditions for New Jersey families – and Peter J. McGuire set the stage for all of that. I’m humbled that – as just a kid from Pennsauken – I’m in a position to properly memorialize my hometown hero in this way.”
Norcross announced his legislation at the 123rd Annual Peter J. McGuire Labor Day Observance and Scholarship Breakfast. The breakfast and the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington Cemetery have become annual traditions in South Jersey.
“The story of Peter J. MaGuire, the “Father of Labor Day,” reminds us that workers have been fighting for over a century to win the freedom to negotiate for higher wages and better jobs. We have come a long way since the first Labor Day in 1882, but we still have a long way to go,” said Richard L. Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “Today’s labor leaders stand on the shoulders of visionaries like Peter J. Maguire, and we commend our Brother, Representative Don Norcross, for honoring our past, but more importantly for helping build a better future.”
“Peter J. McGuire is our founder, one of the great labor leaders of the 19th Century and most deserving of this honor,” said Douglas J. McCarron, President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. “We thank Congressman Norcross – our champion and union brother – for proposing this bill and encourage other Members of Congress to join him in honoring the ‘Father of Labor Day.’”
Click below to read the full text of the Peter J. McGuire Labor Day Landmark Act.
About Donald Norcross:
An IBEW member and electrician by trade, Norcross has a long history of fighting for workers in South Jersey. He fought day in and day out to ensure workers had good-paying jobs as a business agent and as president of the Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO. In the state legislature, he was part of the successful fight to raise the minimum wage in New Jersey.
Source: Media Release (Image: Courtesy U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross)