Because it’s a fake “Labor Day” made as a sop to the labor movement after the massacre during the Pullman Strike and to take energy away from the other “Labor Day” – May Day – which was being celebrated by the more militant labor unions.
Why do we get Labor Day off?: “In 1894, after President Grover Cleveland ordered the brutal suppression of the Pullman Strike, he realized that he had to do something to curry favor with the labor movement, which viewed him with contempt. Worried that a May 1 holiday would encourage rabble-rousing in commemoration of the Haymarket Riot, he followed the lead of several states and made the first Monday in September a federal holiday in honor of the workingman…(By Brendan I. Koerner – Slate Magazine)
Every year, I insist on taking May Day as a holiday. And I try to work on Labor Day. I’d have worked this Labor Day if I had a job… Maybe if we had a stronger labor movement I’d have a job. Maybe getting in touch with the proud tradition of labor militancy in this country will help build a contemporary labor movement that will do something about this nightmare of unemployment.