Local and nationwide events on Labor Day - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local and nationwide events on Labor Day

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PROSSER AND WAPATO, WA - Local communities spent this year's Labor Day with parades, and our staff definitely wasn't going to miss out.

Meteorologist Monty Webb and reporter Rex Carlin participated in the Prosser States Day parade, and passed out bags of candy.

Reporter Gilbert Magallon attended the Wapato Harvest Festival parade, where hundreds gathered to celebrate. Because of the smoky weather conditions, 19 floats dropped out, but that didn't stop hundreds from celebrating the 71st Annual Wapato Harvest Festival.

"The harvest festival for me has a big meaning," said one of the festival-goers. "This is the beginning of harvest, our hops are being brought in. It's a thing the community should...needs to be proud of."

And because it's Labor Day, we looked up a little history for you. This holiday weekend was created as the result of the labor movement in the late 19th century. 

During that time, organized labor unions pushed for workers' rights: an 8-hour workday and an end to child labor.

Before the movement gained traction, the average American worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week and children as young as 5 and 6 worked in mills.

On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history. It became a federal holiday in 1894.

As for movements in today's world...the "Fight For 15" movement hits the streets this Labor Day. Union supporters marched in cities across the country, rallying for a $15 an hour minimum wage. 

Workers are calling for more money, and more bargaining power. Many of the groups participating in today's rallies are also pushing for union rights as an economic fix.

And finally, many people are traveling home after the 3-day weekend. Right now, the Department of Transportation says drivers heading back to the west side of the state are seeing added travel time of up to 30 minutes or more.

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