CNY's Labor Workforce Observes Labor Day at the State Fair

Sep 1, 2014

Not everyone is going to the last day of the 2014 State Fair just because of dollar offerings. Syracuse and Central New York workers make the annual trek to the fair to join in strong numbers to show the pride they feel about their jobs, serving their communities and the respective union that backs them with worker's rights and protections. They started off with the usual parade procession from the Indian Village to Chevy Court. CSEA members chanted, "We are the union... the mighty, mighty union," as they held signs.

Teamsters Union Local 317 begin their march from the Indian Village to Chevy Court at the State Fair.
Credit John Smith/ WAER News

President of the Syracuse Labor Council and a member of the Physician Teamster Alliance Dennis Nave says it's a day to celebrate workers.

"This is the workers’ day. This is something the unions fought for to have this day off. New York State is the most unionized State in the United States. We’re very proud of that and we’re proud of the performance of the unions... what they’re doing for the middle class in this country.”

Nave adds that includes healthcare benefits and workers’ rights and safety in the workplace and maintaining a living wage.  Sally Heater says her family has been participating in the parade and rally on Labor Day spanning four generations.

Sally Heater marched in the parade and spoke to us afterwards.
Credit John Smith/ WAER News

"We come out because we want to show support of the union and we want to show other people that there's no shame in belonging to a union."

 The significance of the day is similar for Ronald Harrison of Syracuse.

Mark Harrison marches in the parade.
Credit John Smith/ WAER News

“Yeah just showing support for our brothers and sisters and their unions. There’s a lot of work to be done there. Too many to list, probably. But, we continue to make improvements.”

Secretary-Treasurer Mark May of Teamsters Local 317 in Syracuse, feels that marching through the State Fair gets the word out two ways.

 "It's important that Labor gets together, all the different trades and unions; so, that we come together and everybody all but, sees it. Our own members see that we're together."

Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 317 takes time to speak to WAER News along the Labor Day Parade route.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

 Tonight's final Concert of the State Fair features the Doobie Brothers at 6PM at Chevy Court and free with dollar admission. Want to know where to find those dollar deals ? Here's a link to the list of participating fair vendors: