Taking a day off at the Lane County Central Labor Council picnic

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Oregon was the first state to recognize Labor Day as an official state holiday back in 1887.

Over a century later, Lane County workers celebrated their day off of work with hot dogs and speeches at the Lane Central Labor Council picnic.

Families, politicians, and labor activists came together at the Jack B. Lively Memorial Park Monday afternoon to take a break from the daily grind.

"For me, it's a kickoff to the campaign. But for everybody else it's a chance to come together and celebrate the fact that when you work together, you have the power to influence the outcome of things that are important to you like your job," said Oregon Rep. Phil Barnhart (D).

While Lane County's unemployment still sits at 6.8 percent, Lane Central Labor Council president Bob Baldwin said it is often about more than that.

"It's a celebration of all the things we've accomplished in the last year and getting ready for the challenges," said Baldwin.

Speakers discussed topics from minimum wage to tax laws, which we can expect to hear plenty more about during campaign season.