PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – While it may be a day off for some, others say Labor Day is an opportunity to bring attention to some major issues, including jobs and the working class.
For organized labor, this year’s Labor Day parade had a bit of a black cloud hanging over it with organized labor’s numbers lower than ever before.
However, that didn’t dampen the spirits of those marching in the parade.
The festivities began with a joyful Labor Day Mass at St. Benidict the Moor. However, the theme of today’s festivities was a simple message.
“Bring our jobs back home. That’s the main thing,” Jack Shea with the ACLA said.
Roughly 60,000 union members and representatives from around the nation participated, including.one who said with this joy and solidarity come genuine worries.
“With the labor movement, goes the middle class. As the labor movement has declined, so has the middle class. As the labor movement has declined, so has income inequality,” American Federation of Teachers President Randy Weingarten said.
Pittsburgh’s Labor Day parade has the unique distinction of being one of the largest of its kind in the United States.
Its sights and sounds attract people of all ages. Matthew Elton brought his two girls to the parade for a couple of reasons.
“I want them all to appreciate this, to understand what this is all about. It’s not about picnics and eating food and hanging out with the family. It’s about the United States and the working force of America,” Elton said.
A total of 192 units made up today’s procession along with numerous bands playing various pieces of music that together, made up the score for the working person in America.