Union members march united by thousands in NYC Labor Day Parade



Thousands of banner-waving union members marched up Fifth Ave. Saturday in the city’s annual Labor Day Parade.


The colorful event featured New Yorkers from a wide array of backgrounds and industries, from construction workers and firefighters to Broadway performers, costume designers, teachers and many more.


Grand Marshal Edgar Romney, secretary-treasurer of Workers’ United Service Employees International Union led the massive display of floats, bands classic cars and big machinery along the Fifth Ave. parade route that took participants directly past President Trump’s luxury condos.


He was accompanied by parade chair James Claffey, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 1.

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Local officials and politicians also participated in the annual event.


Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio marched alongside labor leader Vincent Alvarez, head of the New York City Central Labor Council, which organizes the parade each year.

Thousands waved banners in the parade.

Thousands waved banners in the parade.

(Gregg Vigliotti/For New York Daily News)


Cuomo called the parade “more poignant today than it is normally is.”


“Labor Day is about celebrating the working men and women in the United States,” he said. “It’s the solid middle class, which runs this state.”

Thousands of workers to march in Fifth Ave. Labor Day Parade


A show of union pride is “appropriate because the middle class is the class that is feeling the pain in society,” Cuomo added. “The richest people in this country have done very well. The middle class is going backwards.”


Without mentioning the President by name, Cuomo knocked Washington for ignoring the needs of workers who make up the rank and file of the labor unions.

With the exception of certain years when world events got in the way, New York’s unions have used the parade to put on a spectacular display.

With the exception of certain years when world events got in the way, New York’s unions have used the parade to put on a spectacular display.

(Gregg Vigliotti/For New York Daily News)


“This is a federal government that reached out to the middle class during the campaign and connected with the anger of the middle class but is doing absolutely nothing for them,” he said.


City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and City Controller Scott Stringer also made appearances at the festivities.

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Bagpipes droned and echoed along the avenue as marchers sang “Solidarity Forever” and chanted, “the workers united will never divided.”


Colorful floats rode past, some deriding the upcoming vote on the possibility of a state Constitutional Convention.

The colorful event featured New Yorkers from a wide array of backgrounds and industries, from construction workers and firefighters to Broadway performers, costume designers, teachers and many more.

The colorful event featured New Yorkers from a wide array of backgrounds and industries, from construction workers and firefighters to Broadway performers, costume designers, teachers and many more.

(Gregg Vigliotti/For New York Daily News)


Many fear the move could open the door to dismantling workers’ rights and collective bargaining.


“It’s really important in this day and age that we’re out there with one loud, unified voice,” Alvarez said. “And we’re doing that today.”

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The show of labor strength first began on Sept. 5, 1882, and in 1894 Congress officially legalized the first Monday of September as a national holiday to honor the contributions of labor.


With the exception of certain years when world events got in the way, such as the imminent arrival of WWII, New York’s unions have used the parade to put on a spectacular display.

Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio marched alongside labor leader Vincent Alvarez, head of the New York City Central Labor Council, which organizes the parade each year.

Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio marched alongside labor leader Vincent Alvarez, head of the New York City Central Labor Council, which organizes the parade each year.

(Gregg Vigliotti/For New York Daily News)


Plumbers Local 1 on Saturday brought a truck with a larger-than-life spigot on the back that gushed water.


The trade and construction unions piloted backhoes, dump trucks and other heavy machinery along Fifth Ave.


The United Federation of Teachers wowed with a lively float and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3 — currently in a bitter strike with Spectrum over pensions and benefits for 1,800 members — had a contingent that stretched for blocks.

Tags:
labor unions
holidays
new york parades
bill de blasio
andrew cuomo
teachers union

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