textile workers

Will Hart / Creative Commons License

Labor Day marks the end of summer. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reminds us that this holiday that honors workers once meant much more in Rhode Island.

RIPR FILE

At a time when unemployment, and economic development, remain at the forefront of many people’s minds, columnist Bob Kerr reflects on a once thriving local industry.

Mills, producing products like silver and textiles once kept Rhode Island and Massachusetts cities like Woonsocket, Providence and Fall River, bustling hubs of economic activity.

Kerr reflects on the loss of that industry, and the legacy it’s left behind.

Today we celebrate the glorious history of the American labor movement. While unions have a storied past RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what the future holds.

Labor Day in Rhode Island has long been more than a summer’s end holiday. For decades, union leaders and their members have celebrated a movement that assimilated immigrants, fought vigorously for better pay and working conditions and was a fulcrum in the creation of a strong middle class.