Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Hard to believe, but Dennis Nolan brings to my attention the fact that there was nary a labor day parade in NYC, as reported by the New York Times:
If you wanted to see labor in action on Labor Day, you’d have done well to visit a hospital’s obstetrics wing. You certainly weren’t going to find much of consequence in New York yesterday that involved unions.
In this city where Labor Day parades got their start, in 1882, workers haven’t strutted their stuff on the holiday for quite a while. For them, as for everyone else, it has long been a day for beaches and barbecues. Besides, it is nearly impossible to compete with the blockbuster West Indian American Day Carnival Parade in Brooklyn, which absorbs the day’s energy, not to mention many politicians.
But at least organized labor usually shows the flag on the Saturday after Labor Day, with a march along Fifth Avenue. Not this year. The New York City Central Labor Council called off the 2007 parade, replacing it with a rally on Saturday at the World Trade Center site, focused on health issues affecting those who toiled there after 9/11.
Now, I don't want to suggest that the lack of a parade on one day of the year signals any weakness on the part of organized labor, but especially when unions appear poised to make significant gains in many different areas in the coming years, a showing of union pride where it all started wouldn't have hurt.