WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 2, 2016) — U.S. Rep. Ted W. Lieu (D-33) on Saturday released a statement in honor of Labor Day, which will be celebrated on Monday, Sept. 5.
“This Labor Day we honor the millions of hard-working men and women across the United States. Decades ago workers successfully banded together to demand fair wages and working conditions. Too often today we lose sight of the tremendous gains the labor movement has made for all American workers and our economy. That is why every Labor Day I plan to highlight two individuals whose work has improved the lives of American workers.”
Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Eugene V. Debs was a prominent labor organizer in the 1800s. Early in his career, Debs was involved in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. He later founded the American Railway Union, which was one of the first industrial unions in the nation. While leading the Pullman Strike, Debs was jailed for his actions. However, undeterred by resistance to the labor movement, Debs continued to travel the country advocating for the rights of workers throughout his life. To learn more about Debs, please visit http://debsfoundation.org/index.php/landing/debs-biography/.
Larry Itliong was a Filipino farm worker and labor organizer in California. In 1965, Itliong led more than 1,000 workers in the Delano Grape Strike demanding better wages. During this time Itliong also worked with Cesar Chavez, bringing together Filipino and Mexican laborers, to organize the United Farm Workers. Itliong’s work, particularly with the Delano Grape Strike, was critical in sparking the farm worker movement. In 2015, to honor the legacy of Itliong, Governor Brown signed legislation marking October 25 as Larry Itliong Day. To learn more about Itliong, please visit http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/us/larry-itliong-forgotten-filipino-labor-leader.html?_r=0.
U.S. Rep. Ted W. Lieu’s district covers Los Angeles County. He serves on the House Committees on the Budget and Oversight & Government Reform. He is also the Democratic Freshman Class President and a Colonel in the Air Force Reserves.