Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WI Labor Council backs down on Labor Day parade

Late Tuesday night, the Marathon County Labor Council reversed itself and announced that Republican politicians would be allowed in the Wausau Labor Day parade. One of those Republicans is U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, featured in the above video whining about his meager $174,000-a-year salary.

The mayor of Wausau, Jim Tipple, had said the city wouldn't help pay for the parade if Republicans were excluded.

Randy Radtke, president of the Labor Council, put out this statement:
Labor Day is meant to celebrate the accomplishments of labor for the citizens of our country: things like better workplace safety, some retirement security through Social Security, higher pay, and some time off so workers can spend it with their families. These things have raised workplace conditions at union and non-union companies alike, and collective bargaining helps keep them strong.
We didn't start this fight in Wisconsin, but were responding to anti-worker positions and policies supported by local Republican politicians, including those who have complained about not being invited. With the track records that Pam Galloway, Sean Duffy, Scott Walker, and Jerry Petrowski have all put together this year, they should be ashamed to even show their faces at a Labor Day parade.
Just like we'd hoped, our decision has stimulated a great debate in our community about the meaning of Labor Day. But because we don't want to wind up having community groups and school bands affected in the process, we will let everyone march and hope these Republican politicians finally take away some lessons about what Labor Day really means. We know their actions and voting records speak more loudly than waving at any parade.
We have had countless offers from across our area pour in to help pay for parade costs. While we thank everyone for your generosity, we urge you instead to use it to support charities that are helping working class people who may be laid off or struggling due to the difficult economy.