This monument, titled Labor, is a salute to the dedication and hard work of all those who built the grand city of Omaha. It is a tribute to the men and women who worked for and continue to forge a better life for themselves, their families and their community. The monument is a reminder of what men and women of all walks of life can accomplish by working together. Their commitment will never be forgotten.
Inspired by Terry Moore, President of the Omaha Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Bruce Rhode, President and Chairman of the Board of ConAgra Foods, Inc. and the City of Omaha, this monument became a reality. It reflects the great achievements that result from a partnership of business, labor and government.
Before you is the second largest labor monument in the United States. The five bronze figures are eight feet tall and each weighs 800 lbs. The three large ladles each weigh 6,000 lbs and the ladle at the top weighs 4,000 lbs. An additional 7,382 lbs. of steel and 508,200 lbs of concrete make the total weight of this monument 541,582 lbs or almost 271 tons.
South of the monument, Labor, is "Union Walk". The plaques along the walk reflect the significant influence and commitment of organized labor in Greater Omaha.
Omaha and its unions grew up together. At the time it was chartered, in 1857, Omaha was on the edge of a growing nation. It was destined for economic growth because of access to transportation - first the Missouri River and, soon after, the Union Pacific Railroad. As Omaha grew so did its workshops, mills, factories, plants, office buildings and retail businesses. The construction and day to day operations of all this commerce employed many.
Unions in rail and related industries began to grow in the 1860's, as those industries developed. Building trades organized in the 1880's. The Knights of Labor had a presence in Omaha, but in the 1890's, unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor were on the rise. In 1955, the American Federation of Labor merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations and became the AFL-CIO. To coordinate local unions' political and social service activities, the Omaha Federation of Labor was chartered in 1887.
Today, the labor movement represents a diverse workforce of industrial, service, building and construction, and government sectors of our economy. Organized labor stands firm in its commitment to strive for the betterment of workers and the community.