By James Hart, Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO President

Labor Day has great meaning to many. For me, it’s a call to action, a reminder to double down on our efforts and encourage our brothers and sisters and all Americans to defend the labor movement against those who would seek to erase the past and erode the rights our unions have gained for us over the years.

There is a long history of workers rising up to fight back against the injustices placed upon them. Our history still has yet to be written.

Labor has seen many victories this year from teacher’s strikes to grocery and hotel workers winning improved wages and benefits.

But, as labor leaders and union members, it’s clear our job is not done. It has only just begun. In our Metal Trades councils across the country, there are 21st century labor heroes blazing new paths, fighting injustice and making lives better for all workers. Neither the Metal Trades or organized labor needs to apologize for its beliefs, policies and actions, as they are not rooted in the self-interest of labor, but related to the basic unmet needs of all workers. Let’s take a moment this holiday weekend to remember the working class heroes that came before us by marching side by side with our next generation of labor leaders and members who are fighting for safer conditions in our factories, plants, and construction sites, equal pay for women, minimum wage laws, or dignity and progress in our workplaces.

May God bless America, our nation’s armed forces, first responders, and every worker who toils and commits to truly making America great. Please enjoy this weekend of reflection and celebration with friends, colleagues, and loved ones, and as always enjoy a safe and healthy holiday!