It’s a nationally recognized holiday, so, naturally, a plethora of politicians are weighing in with platitudes to let you know that they appreciate the contributions of working class and middle class families. Several Democratic congressional candidates also used the opportunity to whack their Republican opponents for being insufficiently supportive of labor.
Below you can find a sampling of the statements arriving in reporters’ inboxes since this morning:
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has butted heads with public employee unions over issues like pension reform, sent the following email to his supporters:
Dear Fellow New Yorker,
Today, as we gather with friends and family to enjoy the last days of summer, we pay tribute to the American workforce.
The Labor Day holiday celebrates the social and economic achievements of our working men and women and has its roots right here in New York.
The nation’s first Labor Day was celebrated in New York State in 1882, and throughout the generations since our state has led the nation in supporting the labor community and workers’ rights. The progress achieved by organized labor, as well as its leadership in creating jobs and rebuilding the state’s infrastructure, has benefited all New Yorkers.
Today, we celebrate that history and we offer gratitude to our brothers and sisters in the labor community for their hard work in building the Empire State.
Sean Patrick Maloney, hoping to unseat GOP Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, put out one of the more aggressive and simple statements of the day:
“As we honor our nation’s working families today, it’s painfully clear that Tea Party Congresswoman Nan Hayworth’s record for American workers is one of dishonor.
“In Washington, Congresswoman Hayworth always puts the Tea Party ahead of Hudson Valley working families: she voted six times against a middle class tax cut and voted to end Medicare in order to pay for massive new tax breaks for millionaires like herself and corporations that ship jobs overseas. That’s just wrong.”
While Democratic Congressional hopeful Mark Murphy criticized his opponent, GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, for not doing enough about the minimum wage:
“On Labor Day, it’s important to honor the hard work of middle class families. But today we also need to show our commitment to strengthening and expanding the middle class, especially at a time when so many households are barely getting by. The reality is that far too many people aren’t earning enough to provide for themselves and their families. Raising the federal minimum wage is the best way to help working men and women keep pace with the rising costs of living. This much-needed wage boost will enable a greater number of families to make ends meet. They will spend the extra income at local businesses, which will boost demand for goods and services, and help create more jobs over time.
“Economically and morally, this is the right thing to do. We all benefit from a higher federal minimum wage. Members of Congress should raise the minimum wage as soon as they return to Washington. Congressman Grimm has been silent on this legislation, even though community organizations and working people in the district have urged him to support it. Grimm needs to do what is right and listen to the concerns of his constituents.”
For his part, Mr. Grimm’s office sent out a letter to supporters vowing to fight for the economy:
“As we join together with family and friends to celebrate Labor Day, let us thank the hard-working men and women throughout our nation – from our teachers who teach our children and trade unions who build New York’s infrastructure to our doctors and nurses, cops and firefighters, and small business owners. It is their collective labor that makes our communities run, our economies grow, and our great city thrive.
“As a member of Congress, I stand with the hard-working people of New York City in fighting for the issues that matter most to them – preserving fair and competitive wages, removing obstacles to job and business growth, and creating an environment in which we can all be successful if we work hard and pursue our dreams.
“With a stagnant economy and over three years of unemployment above 8%, job creation must remain a top priority, and we cannot forget those who continue to seek work. I remain fully committed to putting forth policies that not only create opportunities for job growth and innovation, but also preserve the current jobs here in Staten Island and Brooklyn.
“Whether I am leading the charge to overturn the commercial tolls that are driving business out of our district, voting to prevent a job-killing tax hike on our small businesses, or fighting to preserve the prevailing wage; I am proud to stand with the working people of New York and remain honored to know that that they also stand with me.”
Democratic Assemblywoman Grace Meng, campaigning for congress in an open seat in Queens, had a similar message as Mr. Murphy and Mr. Maloney, but left her GOP opponent Dan Halloran unnamed:
“Labor Day is a day we celebrate the great American work ethic and those hardworking men and women who struggled to provide us with workers’ rights and deliver us today’s landmarks of middle class security, including the 40-hour work week, child labor laws, pensions, a minimum wage, Social Security and Medicare.
“Unfortunately, the Tea Party-controlled Republican Congress is making every effort to turn back the clock on decades of labor achievements in favor of tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest one percent of Americans.
“Now more than ever, we must elect representatives to Washington who will stand up in support of labor’s collective bargaining rights so that working men and women may have a voice on the job, a chance to negotiate for fair pay and safe working conditions, and the ability to a secure a comfortable retirement.”
And from the New York State GOP:
“Today, Americans from all over the country will celebrate the symbolic end of summer. Labor Day is a day to gather with family and friends at picnics and barbeques, parades and sporting events; Labor Day is also time to reflect on the hardworking spirit that has long defined America.
“Americans know that government does not build businesses; hard working Americans build businesses. Republican policies of lower taxes, less government spending and less regulation will ensure small businesses here in New York and across the country will flourish. Those businesses, both large and small, have the potential to employ millions of Americans yearning to live the American dream.
“On November 6, Americans will vote in favor of a pro-growth agenda and for a leader who believes America is “an opportunity society, led by free people and free enterprise.”
“On November 6th, Americans will elect Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan so that we can get America working again.”