Labor Day began as a result of a railway strike in Illinois. Even though most do not know its roots, they still observe the holiday, but not every laborer was off today.
Britt Shipley with the Bloomington Sanitation Department worked from 4:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“Well, on holidays, when we work, you get double-time for hours worked and your automatic 8 hours for showing up,” Shipley said. “So, it makes it worth while.”
Signs in the windows of some local restaurants read, “Closed on Monday.” That gave contractors the opportunity to get some work done.
“Times are hard,” said Chris Worthington, who was redoing the steps outside Feast Bakery Cafe in Bloomington. “You gotta do what you gotta do. And so, whatever day it is, as long as there’s sun shining, we’re working.”
Although some city services were still running today, construction sites were barren for the holiday. Laborers Union Secretary Treasurer Bobby Minton says he is grateful for Labor Day.
“If it wasn’t for the labor movement we wouldn’t have anything we got right now: the weekends, 40 workweek, anything,” he said.
Minton says Labor Day really is about celebrating America’s heritage