August 5, 2019
The future of organized labor looked grim in 1935.
America, in the midst of recovering from the Great Depressison, counted about 3 million workers as union members; that's compared to around 5 million a decade before.
But things were about to change. Under the leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, American workers saw the passage of 1933's National Industrial Recovery Act (which provided for collective bargaining) and 1935's Wagner Act--which compelled businesses to bargain in good faith with unions formed by a majority of employees.
Roosevelt, a strong union supporter who signed the Wagner Act in July 1935, echoed the importance of the groundbreaking legislation in a speech that October at the San Diego Exposition.
"It is now beyond partisan controversy that it is a fundamental individual right of a worker to associate himself with other workers and to bargain collectively with his employer,” he said.
Labor Day marches, picnics
Labor Day is a celebration of organized labor, a day to remember and pay tribute to those who have fought and struggled for better, safer working conditions and fair pay. It’s also a day to look forward, to stand up and speak out for positive change, and to continue fighting those who strive to destroy unions.
On Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 2), UUPers from across the state will march in Labor Day parades and take part in Labor Day picnics. Events are slated in Albany, Buffalo, Massena, and Syracuse.
In Albany, the Michael L. Burns Capital District Labor Parade will be held Friday, Sept. 6; a picnic will follow, with fireworks at dusk. The New York City Labor Day parade is set for Saturday, Sept. 7.
All events are free. Show your union pride by marching in a Labor Day parade or taking part in a Labor Day picnic. Details on the events is below:
AlbanyAlbany Labor Day Solidarity Picnic: Noon, Labor Day.
Location: Cook Park (Shambrook Parkway), Colonie
Potluck picnic with awards, speeches, silent auction and music.
Contact: The Solidarity Committee of the Capital District
Capital District Labor Day Parade and Celebration: 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7
Location: Parade steps off at Academy Park (across from state Capitol), Albany
After-parade activities at Corning Preserve include a picnic, live music, kids’ activities and fireworks at dusk.
Contact: Albany County Central Federation of Labor
BuffaloLabor Day parade and picnic: Noon, Labor Day
Location: Parade starts at Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road, Buffalo.
The parade will proceed down Abbott Road and end in Cazenovia Park, where a Labor Day picnic will be held at 1 p.m..
Contact: Buffalo Central Labor Council; 716-852-0375
Massena39th annual Solidarity Day Labor Day Parade: 11 a.m., Labor Day
Location: Center and Willow streets, Massena
After the parade, there’s a picnic in Springs Park.
Contact: Stephen Holmes
New York CityNew York City Labor Day Parade: 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 7.
The theme of the parade is "Building Worker Power Together." Participating UUP members should meet at West 44th St. between 6th Ave. & 7th Ave. March time is 10:15 a.m.
Contact: New York City Central Labor Council
SyracuseGreater Syracuse Labor Council Labor Day Parade: 11 a.m., Labor Day
Location: 10:30 a.m., meet at Gate 4 (Iroquois/ Indian Village), New York State Fair
A rally follows the parade at Chevy Court. Free fair admission for union members.
Greater Syracuse Labor Council; 315-422-3363