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For many, Labor Day marks the end of summer. But when it was made a national holiday in 1894, it marked an historic shift in how workers are treated.

New eras almost never begin quietly, though. This particular one began with a strike that ultimately cost lives—all in the name of demanding better conditions for workers.

Demanding better.

On May 11, 1894, nearly 4,000 factory employees went on strike in response to low pay and poor working conditions. When the strike turned violent, dozens of workers and soldiers were killed.

Labor Day
The American Railway Union escalated the Pullman Strike, beginning with the blockade of the Grand Crossing in Chicago during the night of June 26, 1894. (Wikipedia, public domain.)

 

It was a pivotal turning point for American labor law. President Grover Cleveland (and former mayor of Buffalo, by the way) sided in favor of the workers and deemed poor working conditions to be “un-American.” Soon thereafter, Congress voted (unanimously) to make Labor Day a national holiday.

What’s the point? Providing workers with a safe and meaningful work environment is a cornerstone of American progress.

Bringing it home.

As an employer, we believe in giving people opportunities, maximizing their strengths, and making them feel included. To that end, we’ve worked hard to create a workplace that’s open to people from any culture and all walks of life. It’s about giving people access to dignified, purposeful work. It’s about helping people grow and have better lives.

From a strictly business perspective, we want to know that the ideas generated by our team reflect the needs of the market—and so the faces around the table should be as varied as those outside our walls. Yes, we hire the best people for our business. But to do so, we prioritize personal drive, talent, and spirited character traits that will propel our shared success.

The #BakPack talks work, meaning, and purpose.

In the spirit of these ideals, I asked some of the #BakPack to share their thoughts on working with purpose at Bak USA. Here’s what they had to say.

(Click or swipe to slide through the images.)

  • Michael Seamans

    “I’m very thankful to be part of a company like Bak USA—a company that empowers its employees to think creatively and collaborate to find solutions. I know what I do every day has purpose and I love what I do for this reason.

    Michael Seamans
    Business Outreach Specialist
    Business Development Team

  • Lyhsmary Santiago

    “I’m grateful for having been given the opportunity to grow with this company. I feel needed and appreciated. We are an extended family and everyone is understanding and compassionate.

    Lysmary Santiago
    Administration Assistant
    People Team

  • Prince Pochele

    “What I’m doing here is getting experience and knowledge. I want to learn even more. Someday, when I am back in Uganda and Nairobi, I can help people and give them my knowledge and experience.

    Prince Pochele
    Builder
    Production Team

  • Yasir Al Gburi

    “I have learned so much here from the bottom to higher up. I learn about packaging, selling, building, making our computers work. All of it. Work gives me a new purpose each time.”

    Yasir Al Gburi
    Quality Inspector
    Quality Team

  • Rachel Ernisse

    “Each day, I feel valued, accepted, and that my opinions and ideas are heard. I can effectively express my ideas and creativity, which is very important to me. I know that what I accomplish helps the company succeed while also helping me grow as a professional.”

    Rachel Ernisse
    Product Marketing Coordinator
    Marketing Team

  • Srinath Natarajan

    Bak USA has done an amazing job of providing jobs here locally and making use of the amazing talent that’s inside America. When you think about students in fields like engineering and electronics, there’s a ton of potential here in Buffalo. And with this company’s growth, and the growth of others here in the city, there will be more opportunities for those students.”

    Srinath Natarajan
    Product Engineer
    Engineering Team

Now that’s the stuff. For a closer look at our story, mission, and vision, check out our new Our Story page.

READ OUR STORY

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