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  • How's this for a strange idea: a day off from work in honor of work itself?


  • Actually, that is what Labor Day, celebrated in the United States and Canada on the first Monday of every September, is all about.


  • The first American Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on September 5th, 1882, as thousands of workers and their families came to Union Square for a day in the park.

    1882 年 9 月 5 日,美國在紐約市慶祝第一個勞動節,數以千計的勞工與家人在聯合廣場的公園裡度過這一天。

  • It was not a national holiday, but had been organized by a union to honor workers and their hard efforts with a rare day of rest, halfway between July 4th and Thanksgiving.


  • There were picnics and parade, but there were also protests.


  • The workers had gathered, not just to rest and celebrate, but to demand fair wages, the end of child labor, and the right to organize into unions.


  • During the period known as The Industrial Revolution, many jobs were difficult, dirty and dangerous.


  • People worked for twelve hours, six days a week, without fringe benefits, such as vacations, health care and pensions.

    人們一週工作六天,一天 12 小時,且沒有放假、健康照護以及退休金等附加福利。

  • And if you were young, chances are you were doing manual labor instead of your ABCs and fractions.


  • Children as young as ten worked in some of the most hazardous places, like coal mines or factories filled with boiling vats or dangerous machines.

    即使是 10 歲大的小孩,也必須在極為危險的地方工作,如煤礦場、充滿滾燙水桶或危險機械的廠房。

  • Trying to win better pay, shorter hours, and safer conditions, workers had begun to form labor unions in America and Canada.


  • But the companies they worked for often fought hard to keep unions out and to suppress strikes.


  • At times, this led to violent battles between workers and business owners with the owners often backed up by the police, or even the military.


  • In the following years, the idea of Labor Day caught on in America, with official celebrations reaching 30 states.

    往後幾年,勞動節開始在美國盛行,高達 30 個州由官方舉行慶祝活動。

  • But then came the violent Haymarket Square Riot of 1886, which led to the deaths of several policemen and workers in Chicago and the execution of four union leaders.

    然而隨之而來的卻是暴力的 1886 年 Haymarket Sqaure 暴亂,造成芝加哥多位警察和勞工死亡,同時有四名工會的領導人被處決。

  • After that, many labor and political groups around the world had begun to mark Haymarket Square on May 1st, which became known as International Workers' Day.

    在那之後,許多來自世界各地的勞工和政治團體,開始在 5/1 日紀念 Haymarket Sqaure 事件,而後演變成現在所知的國際勞動節。

  • In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed the law making Labor Day a federal holiday in America, only days after he had sent 12,000 soldiers to end a violent railroad strike that resulted in the death of several people.

    1894 年時,Grover Cleveland 總統簽署了法案,將勞動節訂定為聯邦法定假日,就在法案簽署的幾天前,他才剛下令一萬兩千名士兵,平息一場導致數人死亡的鐵路罷工暴力事件。

  • The original September date was kept, partly to avoid the more radical associations of May 1st.


  • Canada also created its Labor Day in 1894.

    加拿大也在 1894 年訂定了勞動節。

  • But, in spite of this new holiday, it would be a long time before the changes that workers wanted became a reality.


  • In 1938, during the Great Depression that left millions without jobs, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a law calling for an eight-hour work day, a five-day work week, and an end to child labor, some of the first federal protections for American workers.

    1938 年,數百萬人在經濟大蕭條時期失業,羅斯福總統簽署了一項法案,將工時訂定為每天八小時、每週五天,並終止雇用童工,成為聯邦保護美國勞工的首例法案。

  • As America and Canada celebrate Labor Day, most of the two countries' children enjoy a day off from school.


  • But it is important to remember that there was a time that everyday was a labor day for children in America and Canada, and unfortunately, the same fact remains true for millions of children around the world today.


How's this for a strange idea: a day off from work in honor of work itself?


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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 勞工 慶祝 工會 加拿大 法案

為什麼美國人和加拿大人慶祝勞動節? (Why Do Americans and Canadians Celebrate Labor Day?)

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    Kevin Tan 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 16 日