It was the silver anniversary of the Labor Day Festival in Ishpeming on Monday. The theme: Labor, The Silver Lining.
â??We are here to celebrate and try to promote the unionsâ?? said Shawn Stanek, Carpenters Local 1510 Union. â??To get more people in and bring awareness to how we work, the training that is involved and how we are putting our young people that are out here through the training to get out in the world and prosper.â??
Some labor unions in attendance were carpenters, boilermakers, laborers, pipe fitters, steel workers and brick layers, to name a few. But Marquette County teachers were there, as well.
â??It is nice to see support from so many people who have the same beliefs and just support from the community alsoâ?? said Cassie Dobson, a Marquette County teacher.
Marquette County teachers were the Grand Marshalls of the parade before the rally.
â??We have been in negotiations and we just thought it was really relevant for our union and being the head of the parade and actually being able to celebrate some progressâ?? said Amber Racine, a Marquette County teacher.
After the picnic, state legislators and dignitaries addressed working families at the rally.
â??Today we want to recognize and thank the over 150,000 members of the Michigan Education Association and the over 40,000 members of the Michigan Federation of Teachers, for their contributions day in and day outâ?? said Steve Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association.
Even though the weather was not great, a majority of the crowd stuck it out to show their support for union workers.
â??It is all different unions coming together to march for solidarityâ?? said Doris Zaborowske, from the bricklayers union.
â??It is good to see the support of other unions coming out, other people coming out that are not in unions to support us and it keeps us strongâ?? said Stanek.