Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

N.E. Pa. Unions Revive Labor Day Festivities

September 12, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WILKES-BARRE, Pa.—Labor unions in northeast Pennsylvania are reviving the annual Labor Day parade and festivities, which drew thousands of people to downtown Wilkes-Barre in the early 20th century before fading out in the 1930s. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council’s 6th Annual NEPA Labor Day Celebration and Festival Sept. 3 will open with a parade and continue with live music in a city park.  “We want to celebrate our history and at the same time educate the public about some of that history,” Walter Klepaski Jr., a retired member of the AFL-CIO and the Laborers International Union, told the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. “A lot of the benefits workers have today—like Social Security, minimum wage, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration safeguards—all came about because of unions advocating to make the workplace safer and to improve the quality of life for all workers. A lot of the younger people don’t even know what Labor Day stands for.” The festival is free, and any proceeds will be donated to local veterans’ organizations. Read more

September 12, 2018

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