Sunday, September 7, 2008

LABOR DAY PARADE: Unions Make a Difference

The Labor Day Parade in Manhattan was held yesterday, a few days past Labor Day. Despite warnings of a storm, tens of thousands of stagehands, nurses, electricians, truck drivers, carpenters, retail clerks and other trade union members marched up Fifth Avenue. The parade honored wounded veterans, showing that organized labor can still flex its muscles, and rallied union members to vote for pro-labor candidates this fall. The loudest cheers went to the two dozen wounded veterans who led the parade and to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gov. David A. Paterson, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and various labor leaders. Last year, union leaders decided not to hold a parade, instead staging a rally at ground zero to call for more government assistance to workers injured in the cleanup in Manhattan after the 9/11 attack. The first Labor Day Parade was held in New York City on September 5, 1882.

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