High Energy at Labor Day Festivities in Madison


Labor Day festivities at the Labor Temple in Madison Monday drew a crowd of several-hundred union members from more than a dozen unions. Despite the setbacks for public employee unions in Wisconsin over the last two years, the mood of the crowd was upbeat.

The lines were long for people buying the beans and rice and brats and beer on sale in the food tent. And on the festival stage, it was a special group of food industry workers who got special attention. The striking workers of Palermo’s Pizzain Milwaukee. They were the first to be called for the annual solidarity roll call.

“The national AFL-CIO is now in this fight as well and many other community organizations please give a warm welcome to sisters and brothers the striking workers of Palermo’s .”

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The pizza makers union was one of the few private unions represented on stage because most union members in Madison belong to one of several public employee unions who up until last year bargained their wages with state and local government. But the loss of bargaining hasn’t dampened the spirits of people likethis man who works for the state Department of Agriculture.

“My name is John and I am proud to still pay my union dues for AFT Science professionals local3732,” he said.”The governor may have decertified my union but he did not decertify my commitment to the state of Wisconsin and my commitment to the work we do for the people of Wisconsin.”

Union leaders are hoping that kind of enthusiasm will translate into votes come November when union-backed candidates face an uphill battle in many of the state’s legislative and congressional districts.