Despite a steady rainfall, hundreds of union members came out to show support for organized labor at Philadelphia’s annual labor day parade on Christopher Columbus Boulevard.
Everyone from the Teamsters, who began the march to the unionized teachers turned out to show that union labor is still a force in Philadelphia. The march was followed by a rally at Penn’s Landing.
Philadelphia’s AFL-CIO Council President Pat Eiding said having people show up and march in a driving rain sends a message.
“We’re not Democrats we’re not Republicans, but both parties need to hear a message,” Eiding said. “If they are not helping working people, working people are not going to be there to vote for them.”
Three of Philadelphia’s municipal labor unions are still without contracts, and Firefighters union head Bill Gault said he’s upset the stalemate has gone for more than three years.
“We are not the enemy here, and I’m tired of people who save lives for a living being attacked and being treated with complete disrespect,” Gault said.
The city recently appealed a firefighter’s arbitration award in court, arguing that taxpayers couldn’t afford some of its provisions.
After being booed last year, Mayor Nutter did not attend this year’s event. He’s headed to Charlotte, N.C. for the Democratic National Convention.