But today most of America’s workers are working longer hours, taking on multiple jobs, and producing more goods and services. Yet wages have not kept up. To put it plainly, wages have flatlined. Where wages have risen, they have gone to those at the very top. Jobs that are being created are mostly in low-wage industries such as fast food and retail — the same industries that are least likely to provide basic benefits like paid sick days and holidays. This means that many of America’s workers can’t afford to take the day off if they get sick. And for some, Labor Day is just another day on the job rather than a day off.
Several of the regional AFL-CIO central labor councils across Washington state are planning Labor Day picnics and events on Monday, Sept. 2 that are intended to celebrate and honor the working men and women who are the foundation of this state’s economy. Union members, other workers, families and community leaders will come together to celebrate, but they also will call attention to the fraying fabric of the American Dream, which is under attack by a generation of stagnation, growing income inequality and failed public policy. In Seattle, for example, many will march to support strengthening Social Security and Medicare.
All workers and their families are invited and encouraged to join in the following activities on Labor Day:
BURLINGTON — The Northwest Washington Central Labor Council invites all to its 3rd Annual Labor Day Picnic from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 2 at the Whitmarsh Horseshoe Picnic Area, 1720 Whitmarsh Road in Burlington. Bring your favorite side dish and enjoy great food, conversation, music face-painting, and more. Click for details.
CASTLE ROCK — The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council invites union members and their families to attend their Labor Day Picnic starting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 2 at Toutle River RV Park, 168 Dwight Road, in Castle Rock. Click for details.
CENTRALIA — The Thurston-Lewis-Mason Counties Labor Council invites union members and their families to its annual Labor Day Picnic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 2 at George Washington Park at the corner of Main and Pearl streets in historic downtown Centralia. Click for details.
KENNEWICK — The local labor unions of the Tri-Cities area will have their 2nd Annual Labor Day Picnic at Columbia Park in Kennewick from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Live music, local union show trailers, bounce house for the kids, car and bike show. Food cooked by local union member volunteers. Open to the public. Expecting 1500-2000 people. First 500 attendees get free t-shirts.
SEATTLE — Demonstrate and march to strengthen Social Security and Medicare on Labor Day before the M.L. King County Labor Council picnic. Meet at 10 a.m. at Lower Woodland Park (the site of the picnic), and march to N. 50th & Greenlake for sign-waving and leafleting. At 11:30 a.m., participants will march back and join the MLKCLC Labor Day picnic. Click for details.
SEATTLE — The M.L. King, Jr. County Labor Council will host its annual Labor Day Celebration on Monday, Sept. 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lower Woodland Park’s Shelters 1-3, N. 50th St. & Woodland Park Ave. N. in Seattle. This free event will feature live music by the Haggis Brothers, plus ice cream, hot dogs, sodas, popcorn, clowns, games, face painting, and raffle prizes. Click for details.
TACOMA — The Pierce County Central Labor Council, community leaders and labor supporters are invited to a short Ralph Chaplin memorial ceremony at the gravesite of longtime labor activist, poet, author and songwriter at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2 at Calvary Cemetery, 5212 70th St. West in Tacoma. Click for details.
TACOMA — A Labor Day Picnic, co-sponsored by the Pierce County Central Labor Council and Washington Federation of State Employees Local 793, will be Monday, Sept. 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ft. Steilacoom Park Picnic Pavilion, 9200 Steilacoom Blvd SW in Lakewood. Click for details.