Nashville's 3rd Annual Labor Day Parade!

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Hosted by the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Middle Tennessee Jobs with Justice, and Workers’ Dignity

Surpassing last year’s crowd, 250 working people and families marched up and down Nolensville Pike on Saturday celebrating Labor Day in what has become a Nashville tradition.  This Labor Day marks a pivotal moment for Nashville.  Will the growth and economic expansion benefit the entire city and lift us all together or only further enrich the already wealthy?  Will the skyline of the future be built by low wage, out of state workers or will we choose to do better?  Residents in August spoke loudly with their votes, overwhelmingly supporting Amendment 3, or “Local Hire,” and the hundreds marching in South Nashville on Saturday amplified that message.  

The parade highlighted the growing income inequality, low wages, and unsafe working conditions that persist despite Nashville’s “It City” status.  Stephon Eckles, a striking K&D worker told the crowd “"We 're on strike and here with our families because many of us are paid so little we still qualify for food stamps, and tenncare, while we build major projects that developers receive millions in local tax dollars.  We want basic things like water on the job, days shorter than 18 hours, and to be provided with required safety equipment. We know if we come together it doesn't have to be this way. We don't want to be rich we just want to be treated like human beings."   

For decades, proponents of anti-union, anti-worker legislation claimed their way would result in higher wages and prosperity for all.  Yet according to US Census Data, Tennessee continues to rank in the bottom fifth of states in median income. Marchers donned shirts saying "Unity is Strength" and “Living Wage Yes” to highlight the proven track record of higher minimum wages  and increased unionization as the key upward forces on wages.  Even while corporations make record profits, more and more workers fall between the cracks.  Wage theft and temporary work arrangements deny people the ability to earn an income that can sustain a family.

Workers increasingly are organizing to address these challenges.  Workers’ Dignity, a low wage worker center highlights this trend. The group recently waged a campaign to combat wage theft in the surging hospitality industry with high profile successes.

The diversity of parading workers reflected the new reality of the Labor Movement that is meeting the challenges of 2015 with new solutions and the same passion for organizing that made Labor Day a recognized holiday.

The Event was made possible with generous sponsorship from: TN AFL-CIO, United Auto Workers, UFCW Local 1995, SEIU Local 205, Show Me $15, Utility Workers Union of America, CWA Local 3808, United Campus Workers-CWA, ATU Local 1235, OPEIU Local 182, LiUNA Local 386, IBEW Local 429, & OPEIU Local 277

Thanks to everyone that participated!

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Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee posted about Nashville's 3rd Annual Labor Day Parade! on Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee's Facebook page 2015-09-08 09:48:11 -0500
Nashville's 3rd Annual Labor Day Parade!
@NashvilleCLC tweeted this page. 2015-09-08 09:40:57 -0500