Sept. 5, 2016
UUP union strong in upstate Labor Day parades
Waving “Union Proud!” signs and chanting “Who are we? We’re UUP!,” more than 100 UUPers from chapters across the state displayed their union pride in the Greater Syracuse Labor Council Labor Day Parade Sept. 5 at the New York State Fair.
UUPers also marched proudly in Labor Day parades in Massena and Buffalo. In Buffalo, Secretary Eileen Landy and Treasurer Rowena Blackman-Stroud marched with nearly 40 UUP members in the annual Buffalo Central Labor Council's Labor Day parade.
And UUP leaders are hopeful that hundreds of UUP members will march in them in the annual New York City Labor Day parade on Sept. 10.
Dressed in red UUP shirts, members from chapters including Binghamton, Cortland, Oswego, Upstate Medical University, Stony Brook and UAlbany shook noisemakers and held signs that said “We are UUP.” The showing was a demonstration of unity by UUP, which has continually increased its numbers in the Syracuse parade.
Unionists proceeded down Tonawanda Street to Chevy Court, where a group photo was taken. Infinity, a rock band performing on the Chevy Court stage, played “Blue Collar Man” by Styx as unions neared the parade’s end. UUP marched alongside members from nearly two dozen unions, including NYSUT, PEF, CSEA, United Steelworkers, and the Communications Workers of America.
“We are honored and proud to be unionists,” said statewide Vice President for Academics Jamie Dangler, who marched in the parade, as did Membership Development Officer Tom Hoey. “We’re proud to be UUP.”
“Labor Day is a day to honor everyone who’s fought for fair wages and benefits, and safe working conditions, said Carmen Serrano, a UAlbany Chapter member. “It’s an important day to remind people that we still need to work together to improve working conditions for everyone.”
In Buffalo, nearly 40 UUP members were part of the procession, which made its way down Abbott Road to Cazenovia Park, where a Labor Day picnic was held. Above, UUP, CSEA and PEF members hold signs that read “Fair Contract Now!;” UUP and the other unions are negotiating new contracts with the state.
Above, Blackman-Stroud shakes a noisemaker as Buffalo State Chapter member Jude Jayatilleke and Buffalo Center Chapter member Ken Kern, right, walk beside her in the Buffalo parade.
“Without unions, there wouldn’t be a Labor Day,” said Landy. “We march with our heads held high, ready to support and protect our fellow workers.
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