The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, September 12, 2014

Labor Day, 2014: Workers urged not to 'stand still' on Election Day

By Marty Mulcahy, Editor

DETROIT – The city’s Labor Day Parade, one of the largest in the country, once again assumed its traditional role as a stop for local and national politicos as the traditional kickoff point for fall campaigning.

Vice President Joe Biden returned to Detroit after a Labor Day speech in 2012, and in 2011, President Obama paid the Motor City a visit. This year the stage was set on the grounds of the old Tiger Stadium at Michigan and Trumbull, with other speakers including retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, Congressman Sander Levin, Congressman John Conyers, U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

The get-out-the-vote theme was a thread throughout the speeches – voters from organized labor sat out the 2010 ballot, allowing the election of Gov. Rick Snyder and ultra-conservatives in state government who ultimately adopted a statewide right-to-work law in Michigan.

“Workers of Michigan built the middle class of America, providing a decent wage with pensions and health care,” Congressman Sander Levin (D-Southfield) to the Labor Day crowd. “But now, in today’s economy, things have shifted, and the very few are doing very well. This class warfare is being led by a few misguided Republicans.  If organized labor stands still on Election Day, that pattern will continue.”