Thousands of union members and supporters gathered in Detroit for the historic Labor Day Parade down Michigan Avenue today, pledging to activate voters with the November election approaching with the theme “Together We WILL WIN!”
UAW President Dennis Williams was one of the speakers who kicked off the parade with an inspiring message to parade goers gathered at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull on the site of the old Tiger Stadium. “It’s time to vote, and it’s time to take our country back for workers,” said Williams. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is facing democratic challenger Mark Schauer in November. The president noted the growing inequality in America with the rich getting richer and workers struggling to maintain a middle class living. “There’s something wrong in America when there’s unfairness to workers.”
International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James P. Hoffa said the November election is critical to the future of working America. “If we do our job at election time and vote, we win. That’s how we turn this country around,” said Hoffa. “Unions brought us so much – a 40 hour work week, health care, pensions, so much.” The need to elect worker-friendly candidates is at the heart of the midterm elections, he said.
Vice President Joe Biden addressed the crowd with a rousing message of solidarity with workers, a relationship he says has never let him down and that he will stand by through thick and thin. “Labor has had my back my entire career, and I still know how to say the word union,” said Biden. He also acknowledged the crucial role labor played in rescuing the auto industry. “The UAW saved the auto industry with their sacrifices. There’s a war on labor now because you’re the only counterbalance to the inequity we see in this country.”
The cheering crowd then joined the parade as it marched down Michigan Avenue to downtown Detroit, despite a downpour of rain that challenged the rain soaked, but not defeated, marchers.
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