In a difficult choice for local union leaders, the St. Louis Labor Council Executive Board has canceled this year’s Labor Day Parade in downtown St. Louis amid concerns for the health and safety of the thousands of union members who annually march in the parade, and the families and other spectators who turn out to watch the event.
“With regret, the St. Louis Labor Council executive board voted today to cancel this year’s St. Louis Labor Day Parade,” the Labor Council said in a statement. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with restrictions on large group gatherings in the City of St. Louis, our first concern must be the safety of our members and those who turn out to watch the parade. Though we may not march together, we continue to stand together #UnionStrong. Stay healthy. Stay safe. We will get through this together.”
Labor Council President Pat White said concern for members’ health and safety, and the logistical hurdles that would have to be overcome to host the event, proved impossible to overcome.
The concern wasn’t only for marchers and spectators during the parade, he said, but for the annual picnics many locals hold in the parks around downtown following the parade.
“Throughout this decision-making process, the health and safety of our members and the general public have been our paramount concern,” White said. “With the health risks posed by the pandemic and the uncertainty about what will happen in September, we think it’s best that we cancel the Labor Day Parade this year.”
Celebrating Labor Day even without a parade
With this year’s Labor Day parade canceled to ensure everyone’s safety, the Labor Tribune is putting together a special photo spread highlighting past parades to celebrate our unions’ solidarity and strength in this year’s Labor Day Special Edition, which will be published on Thursday, Aug. 30
Even in the midst of the greatest health crisis we have seen in a century, the meaning of Labor Day lives on, celebrating union members, our families and the essential work we do every day to keep America strong.
From all of us at the Labor Tribune, stay healthy, stay safe. We will get through this together.