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2018 Labor Day Parade Snapshot: ‘I Don’t Have A Union – I Wish I Did!

September 10, 2018

By Silver Krieger

New York, NY – Feelings were strong on 5th Avenue this weekend for NYC’s 2018 Labor Day, the defiant faces of union marchers proud and determined.

The next generation of trade unionists on parade.

Thousands streamed along Fifth Avenue with traditional banners and flags, some on flatbed trucks, in vans, or the rigs of their trade. Whole families held pro-union signs aloft, as still other groups of trade unionists paraded along the historic concrete canyon on motorcycles, union logos proudly displayed on their leather-jacketed backs, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” blaring out of speakers mounted on a truck emblazoned with “#CountMeIn” signs. 

Workers march proudly on 5th Avenue.

 “We’re happy to be together,” said one of the marchers, holding a sign denouncing, “The Corporate Agenda.”

Ann McDermott, 55, stood on the sidewalk presiding over banners protesting REBNY and gentrification, and cheered on the marchers.

“I worked in IT [Information Technology],” she told LaborPress. “I don’t have a union — I wish I did. [The bosses] want to get the new generation, the hipsters.” After 30 years of working in the tech industry, McDermott was told, “[My] skills were no longer needed.”

I worked in IT [Information Technology]. I don’t have a union — I wish I did. [The bosses] want to get the new generation, the hipsters. After 30 years of working in the tech industry, I was told, my skills were no longer needed.

Despite continued attacks and losses — including the Supreme Court’s reviled Janus decision — “Who’s strong/All day long,” rose to the sky aloft a genuine spirit of jubilation and solidarity. 

Jimmy Whalen, a member of TWU Local 100, said, “[This parade] shows the force of organized labor in New York City, especially in this day and age. The percentage of union labor has dropped in recent years. And now we have Janus…[but] I’m actually very impressed at the turnout of the labor unions. People are pumped up…they are all having a good time sticking together.”

September 10, 2018

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