September 4, 2020
UUP members mark a very special Labor Day
uupdate 8-28-20

UUP members will mark Labor Day this year with pride and poignancy, as their tributes will extend to workers—including their own colleagues—who have carried out essential services during the coronavirus pandemic at great risk and often with great sacrifice.

To mark the day, hundreds of UUPers plan to show their support for their colleagues, for their communities and for all workers by hosting or joining a series of car caravans and virtual rallies.

The struggle continues

“Labor Day is always a day that combines pride and celebration with the more somber remembrance of how many have sacrificed to give us the many benefits we enjoy in this country – the five-day work week, the end of child labor and the right to unionize,” UUP President Fred Kowal said. “But for all that we have gained, we still have a long way to go in the United States.

We still have underground sweatshop factories,” Kowal added. “Farm workers are still denied many of the basic protections the rest of us take for granted. People still struggle to make ends meet on inadequate pay. And, as we saw this spring, front-line workers during the pandemic, whether they were in a meat processing plant or in one of our own state-of-the-art SUNY hospitals, faced terrible risks. So, let us make this a day of renewed commitment to the struggle for safe, equitable working conditions for all.”

Not to be daunted

UUP observances will take place Sept. 7 in Buffalo, Fredonia and Syracuse. Click on the links below to register for the events:

Members in the Syracuse area who wish to participate in the virtual rally organized by the Greater Syracuse and Central New York labor councils can contact

UUP typically marks Labor Day with regional parades, rallies, picnics and speeches. The coronavirus pandemic made such celebrations impossible, but Tom Tucker, UUP’s statewide vice president for professionals, said the observances this year will be no less meaningful because of the changes.

Members of surrounding communities and other labor organizations are welcome to join the events; they are not limited to UUP members, Tucker added.

“We want to let our communities know that UUP cares,” Tucker said. “We live in our campus communities, we work in them, and we are a part of them.”

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