Monday, September 04, 2006

JS Picks Up Month-Old Labor Day Parade Story

Channel 4 was the first MSM outlet to report that Plumbers' Local 75 was not participating in this year's Labor Day parade. Naturally, this blog picked it up on August 10th. Today the JSOnline caught up:

Local 75 of the Plumbers and Gas Fitters will break from tradition and not march in Milwaukee's Labor Day parade today because the union considers the inclusion of immigrant advocates a distraction from Labor Day.

"This is strictly a Labor Day celebration. Any other purpose of this parade would not do Labor Day any justice, in my opinion. It's designed to celebrate labor. Labor only," said Harry Kreuser, Local 75 business manager.

But the JS report left more questions than it answered:

Sheila Cochran, secretary-treasurer of the Milwaukee County Labor Council, which organizes Laborfest and the parade, said it's not unusual for some of the 130 unions represented by the council to withhold participation on occasion...

Cochran said five or six other unions have joined Local 75 in citing the immigrant march for sitting out the parade.

Oh, really? Like which ones? The Carpenters? Laborers? Electricians?

Even more tantalizing is this:

According to Cochran, the labor council has rebuilt its membership and fortified its finances since last Labor Day, which followed the national defection of a handful of unions from the AFL-CIO. Since then, local affiliates of all the splintered groups except one have returned to the Milwaukee council through solidarity agreements,...

One thinks of the Building Trades. That "handful" represents quite a few members, by the way.

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