New York Workers

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple, Washington Square

Keeping Washington Square neat!

We celebrate Labor Day with our tribute to the workers who labor daily to keep the Big Apple polished.

Where the idea for a holiday celebrating workers came from is not entirely clear; but it is known that it began in New York City. The first Labor Day was organized by the Central Labor Union, a parade marched up Broadway from Downtown, and festivities were held in Union Square on September 5th 1882. Because the celebration was a popular one, in 1883 it was moved to the first Monday of September. As the tradition became more widespread from state to state, in 1894 the federal government designated Labor Day a national holiday on September’s first Monday.

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple, Union Square

Keeping Union Square clean!

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple, Greenwich Village

Heavy lifting up on the roof.

“We do want more, and when it becomes more, we shall still want more. And we shall never cease to demand more until we have received the results of our labor.”
—Samuel Gompers (1850–1924, American Labor Activist)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple, Greenwich Village

Cleaning a roof.

“It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple, Greenwich Village

Repairs in the winter.

“Dignify and glorify common labor.”
—Booker T. Washington (1856–1916)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple

Road work.

“To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.”
—Bette Davis (1908–1989, American actress)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple

Sweeping up outside the New York Public Library.

“I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.”
—John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple

Working above ground for repairs below ground.

“All wealth is the product of labor.”
—John Locke (1632–1704)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple

Covering a hole in the street.

“Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.”
—Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple

Installing flexible barriers on W. 13th St.

“There is no real wealth but the labor of man.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple

Repairing cables.

“Dare to be honest and fear no labor.”
—Robert Burns (1759–1796)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple

Working with heavy equipment in the rain.

“I am very sure that any man of common understanding may, by culture, care, attention, and labor, make himself whatever he pleases, except a great poet.”
—Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773)

Workers, Laborers, New York, Big Apple, Hard Work, Polish the Big Apple

Making a new sidewalk.

“Wherever, on the face of the globe or on the page of history, you show me a disfranchised class, I will show you a degraded class of labor.”
—Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906)

See the sights of the well-polished Big Apple that these men and women help to bring us when you are part of our several guided walking tours. Take the Tour; Know More!

ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT, EXCEPT CREDITED QUOTES, © THE AUTHOR 2020

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