Political figures are paying tribute to Maine workers as we celebrate and honor hardworking Americans on Labor Day.
Chapter one: Maine
Gov. Janet Mills
"Today, let us pay tribute to the generations of hardworking men and woman who, standing in solidarity, fought day in and day out to deliver safer working conditions, higher wages, better health care, and countless other opportunities and protections for themselves and others. Unions formed the backbone of our nation – the middle class – and it is their courage, conviction, and strength that has improved the lives and livelihoods of thousands of men and women across this country. Today, let us continue to recognize that when working people thrive, Maine thrives; America thrives."
Sen. Susan Collins
“No one works harder than the people of Maine. I hope Mainers are able to enjoy this Labor Day safely with their families. I am also grateful for those who are unable to take a day off, including Mainers on the front lines of the pandemic helping to keep us healthy and safe.”
Sen. Angus King
“This pandemic has highlighted the critical contributions of America's workforce, which is why on #LaborDay, we must honor our essential workers who continue to put themselves in harm's way each and every day to keep our nation running.
We also must not forget the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own – the result of a pandemic that has shut down industries, and a toothless federal response that has failed to meet this crisis. The Senate must provide support for them, ASAP.”
Rep. Chellie Pingree
“#LaborDay isn't just the symbolic end of summer—it's a monument to workers' rights. For generations, labor unions have fought to ensure opportunity for every worker, no matter their job.
Proud to stand alongside Maine's workers today and every day.”
CD-2 Democratic candidate Rep. Jared Golden
“The labor movement has made life safer and more prosperous for working people all across the country. In these difficult times, we cannot forget that our workers are the backbone of the economy and they deserve our thanks and respect.
Since day one, my career in public service has been driven by a commitment to America’s working families. Over the years, I’ve been proud to stand with Maine’s unions and their members.
It shouldn’t be partisan or divisive to claim that everyone deserves a fair shake from their employers and from our economy. Because at the end of the day, our country functions best when we’re all able to prosper, not just the wealthiest or most powerful among us.
As we rebuild our economy in the wake of the COVID crisis, we need to make sure we are supporting working families all across the country. It’s within our power to create a fairer economy, but only if our political leaders can put aside their partisan priorities and commit themselves to working on behalf of the American people.
So today and every day, I’m committed to fighting for Maine’s workers. And in all the work ahead, I promise to keep you, the people, as my one and only priority.”
U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Sara Gideon
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, working Mainers have continued to stock the shelves, keep our communities connected, care for those who have gotten sick, and power our economy. Hardworking Mainers and organized labor have always been the backbone of our economy, but on this Labor Day, we are especially grateful for the commitment, dedication, and perseverance of Maine workers who have kept our state moving forward in these unprecedented times.
“I believe the best way to honor Maine’s workers is to fight for them. From the shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works to the nurses at hospitals to the postal workers delivering vital mail, hardworking Mainers across the state deserve a senator who stands up for them. Workers’ rights have come under attack in Washington, and we need to protect and strengthen organized labor and ensure our government is putting working people ahead of big corporations and special interests. That’s exactly what I’ll do in the Senate.”
RELATED: The history and origin of Labor Day
CD-2 Republican candidate Dale Crafts
"Maine has a rich history of strong work ethics. This weekend let's share a little time off and enjoy our American lives from the banks of our mighty rivers to the salty coast of the Atlantic.
Happy Labor Day."
Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra
"Today, we pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of working Mainers who are the economic engines of our state. Democrats believe the right to organize for fair wages, safe working conditions, and workplace protections is central to making the economy work for everyone.
"But Donald Trump and the Republican Party have shown a clear contempt for working people with their attacks on labor, from stacking the National Labor Relations Board with anti-labor advocates, to gutting workplace safety protections, to nominating and confirming anti-union judges. This Labor Day, we are committed to electing leaders who will protect workers' rights and strengthen unions, and that's why we have to do everything we can to elect Democrats up and down the ticket and send Joe Biden to the White House this November."
Maine Republican Party (radio address)
"Here we are, Labor Day 2020.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day, "is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."
Maine House Republicans celebrate those contributions, as we recognize the precarious positions that many workers and their families are in this first Monday of September 2020.
We celebrate the news that the Bath Iron Works (BIW) strike is settled for all concerned and for the supportive role played by Senator Collins and the Trump Administration.
BIW workers builds the finest ships in the world, contributes to our economy and to our national defense. Their success is Maine's success.
We celebrate the small business grant program announced by the Governor and what it means for those workers impacted by government mandated shutdowns.
2020 has been a rough year on Maine's hard working people and there are differing realities for Maine workers this Labor Day.
There are those workers fully employed, working at home and connected to their families. They are trying to do what they are told they must have do to be successful and safe.
These workers have been managing this routine since March and we salute them for bending the curve back in March and their ongoing efforts to keep others safe.
There are part-time workers that have limited hours, greatly reduced resources and no idea how much longer they have to wait to earn full wages. They too, are doing what they can ensure safety, while also ensuring they earn a living.
Frontline workers have been there every day, doing their job, even before it was clear that the virus was not going to kill millions. They have to deal with an angry or fearful public and time away from their families.
We salute these workers who go out everyday and face the added burden of having to comply with ever changing regulations, mandates, guidance and decrees that leave all of us not knowing which way is up.
Still others, thousands of workers, are not working at all. Those that had resources to begin with have, or likely will, use them up. These workers are looking to get back to work, while our Governor continues to impose limits on the capacity of businesses and ties employer's hands.
These workers have had to face the near total disfunction of Maine's unemployment system for months and now must face the fall and winter job market in Maine.
To these workers who want to get back to work and for whom government assistance is not a way of life, we will continue to do all we can to get Maine open.
For every working Mainer across all of Maine's job sectors, this period of social isolation has cost us opportunities to come together. Each of us have had our opportunities to interact with others through our charitable groups, our social clubs, and even our churches limited by government mandates.
While this is done in the name of safety, it has only served to divide us further as our interactions are relegated to impersonal virtual contact. Gatherings that are the hallmark to Labor Day weekend and the celebration of work ethic and end of Summer in Maine, are canceled.
But the Maine worker is tough and House Republicans are committed to speaking out on behalf of those who are prisoners of the silent epidemics that the continual use of emergency order extensions have caused.
With domestic violence, depression, substance abuse, overdose deaths, all on the rise, House Republicans will continue to advocate for those Mainers, for those workers, forgotten during this pandemic and the never-ending ever-changing emergency orders.
We want Maine to be safe and healthy in every way possible, so that workers and so that all of Maine can begin to recover from the damage that Maine has sustained in 2020.
We have not forgotten you."
Chapter two: New Hampshire
Gov. Chris Sununu
"Happy Labor Day! Incredibly proud and grateful for the efforts made by every Granite Stater who make New Hampshire the best state in the nation to live, work, and raise a family. #603Pride"
Sen. Maggie Hassan
"Labor Day is a celebration of the hard-won rights of workers, and the contributions that working Americans make every day. On this day, we reflect on the perseverance and bravery of the men and women who fought to achieve a better future, including safer working conditions, fair pay, and reasonable hours. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare, our country still has considerable work to do to strengthen worker protections and ensure that everyone who works hard has the opportunity to succeed. I will keep working across the aisle to ensure workplace safety, expand economic opportunity, and build a stronger future for all Granite Staters and Americans."
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
“New Hampshire is strong because of the working men and women who support our economy,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “My priority has always been making a difference for Granite State working families by helping to create new jobs and strengthening the economy, but this Labor Day, they need our support more than ever as so many have been hit hard by this pandemic. Our workers are on the frontlines of this crisis, and I am committed to ensuring they have the proper resources to support their families and to stay safe. I will continue to work across the aisle to expand job training programs, raise the minimum wage, and protect union rights.”
N.H. Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley
"This Labor Day, we honor Granite State workers and unions whose commitment to fighting for better wages, safer working conditions, quality, affordable health care, and the ability to retire with dignity has never been more important.
While Democrats like Joe Biden, Senator Shaheen, Senator Hassan, Congresswoman Kuster, Congressman Pappas, and our legislative majorities support Granite State workers, Republicans have been shamefully attempting to disenfranchise workers and unions. Whether it's Trump and his N.H. GOP cheerleaders' attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, cut Social Security, block a minimum wage for New Hampshire, or their chaotic mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic that's resulted in massive job losses, it's clear that we need to elect Democrats who are fighting for working families and not special interests and the top one percent.
Support for American workers, their families, and their right to organize is central to the Democratic Party's platform, and it's central to our fight to ensure opportunity for all Granite Staters."
Chapter three: National
President Donald Trump
"On this Labor Day, we express our deep gratitude to workers of every generation who helped create the greatest economy in the world and the workers whose tireless efforts will ensure our country and workforce bounce back with full force as we defeat the virus. Together, we will continue the great American comeback."
Former Vice President Joe Biden
"Today, we honor the generations of union workers who fought for the rights, power, wages, and benefits that built and sustained the great American middle class."