By TIM ROWDEN
Thousands of union members and their families – many showing their opposition to deceptive, anti-worker,
anti-family right-to-work legislation with t-shirts, signs, banners and chants – turned out for the Greater St. Louis Labor Council’s annual Labor Day Parade Sept. 7 in downtown St. Louis. The theme of this year’s parade was “Stand With Working Families.”
“We celebrate Labor Day to honor American workers and the role they continue to play in creating a strong and
prosperous nation,” Nixon wrote in an editorial for the Labor Tribune. “Labor Day reminds us that the rights won by the labor movement benefit all workers, and calls us to keep fighting to keep the American Dream alive for every Missouri family.
“Skilled workers build our homes, teach our kids, keep our streets safe, and maintain our roads and bridges,” Nixon wrote. “Here in Missouri, skilled union labor builds the best-selling truck in America, the Ford F-150, and the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, the Chevy Colorado. Union hands build the F/A-18, the nation’s first strike-fighter that continues to fight terror and protect our servicemen and women around the globe.
“Today, with our economy driven by the strength of the middle class, giving workers the freedom to make their voices heard is more important now than ever before.”
TUG-O-WAR, RAFFLE RAISE $10K
FOR ‘$5 FOR THE FIGHT’
Following the parade, union members and their families crowded into Kaufman Park at 13th and Chestnut for the sixth Labor Tug-O-War, hosted and organized by the Rockwood and Tri-County labor clubs.
Two-time winners, Sprinkler Fitters Local 268 pulled off a hat trick, taking First and Second place by fielding two winning teams for the third time in a row, allowing them to hold on to the travelling Greg Booth/Dee Sprayberry Memorial Crystal Trophy, named after the late IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Booth and late Operating Engineers Local 513 veteran Business Representative Sprayberry.
Firefighters Local 2665 took third place, and Gas Workers Local 11-6 took fourth.
“I definitely want to give a shout out to the Sprinkler Fitters,” Rockwood Labor Club President Marty McClimens said. “They put out an awesome team – or teams – and took care of business.”
Other participating unions included Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562, Painters and Allied Trades, Elevator Constructors Local 3 and UAW Local 2250.
The union competition raised $5,000 for the $5 for the Fight fund to help out-of-work union members in need of financial assistance.
Another $5,000 was donated by the Jefferson County Labor Club, which won the $10,000 Mega Raffle drawing, bringing the total to $10,000 for $5 for the Fight.
In addition, two lucky kids – Bella Kehrer, 10, the daughter of Sprinkler Fitter Kevin Easton and Allison Kehrer, and Brayden Sitek, 6, the stepson of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 member Brian Summers and Melissa Sitek – won bicycles in a free raffle put on by the Jefferson County Labor Club
“Everything went really well,” McClimens said. “We want to thank all the participants and all the sponsors. It was a great success. We raised some money for $5 for the fight, and we raised some money for the labor clubs.”