Date Posted

Business Manager Christopher Erikson proudly leads Local 3 officers and members up 5th Ave. in the 2017 Labor Day Parade.

The labor movement in New York City was out in full force on a beautiful Saturday, September 9, 2017 marching, dancing and riding up Fifth Avenue in this year’s Labor Day Parade. Following the Local 3 Sword of Light Pipe and Drum Band and the officers of Local 3 led by Business Manager Christopher Erikson followed by thousands of union members and their families marched from 46th street up Fifth Avenue in a show of solidarity for Labor and dedication to Local 3’s 1,800 members on strike from Charter/Spectrum cable company. The ET Division members on strike were very well-represented marching proudly behind banners outlining the shame of a multi-billion-dollar corporation keeping New York’s brightest out of work for over six months without a fair contract.
This year’s parade was led by Grand
Marshall Edgar Romney, Secretary-Treasurer of Workers United SEIU and parade Chair James Claffey Jr., President of IATSE Local One. Officers and rank and file members of SEIU and IATSE with their families marched in steadfast solidarity at the front of the parade that included a political delegation of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, Gary LaBarbera, head of the NYC Building and Construction Trades Council and NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez.
Local 3 members and their families arrived early in the day enjoying the refreshments handed out by the volunteers that work tirelessly each year to make the parade such a success. Local 3 stepped on to Fifth Avenue and turned north marching under balloon arches, behind colorful floats and among the marching bands dispersed throughout the contingent that for a time stretched the entire parade route from start to finish. Many members marched with placard signs calling for a “No” vote on this year’s proposition for a NYS Constitutional Convention. Local 3 marched past St. Patrick’s Cathedral where the Central Labor Council sets up a delegation for each parade for Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York. The pipes and drums echoed off of the tall buildings of Fifth Avenue as the motorcycles roared past the grandstand of waving spectators and retirees on what was a great day for the labor movement.
The parade is a solid example to others not familiar with organized labor’s effort to advance the cause of the American worker. It is a day where union members can show their strength in numbers to a city which is growing more and more apart from a unionized workforce. The parade exemplifies the effort to continue the traditions and history of the organized labor movement in New York City and what can happen when different trades and unions with a common goal unite for a brighter future.
Where it is easy to find an excuse not to come into Manhattan to march in the Parade, the membership fully understood the special importance of this year’s outing. It seems that each passing parade every year carries more significance to New York’s skilled tradesmen and women as the most important one ever. There are growing, successful attacks against working people, pushing stagnant wages, higher medical co-pays and deductibles and the elimination of employer-based medical coverage. It can be difficult for the average worker to understand and support workers striking against an employer over medical and pension benefits, and when union members do not march or rally for a redress of their grievances, labor history fades away and becomes forgotten.
Local 3 members marched with pride in their belief in the value of hard work as the vanguard of commitment, as people of principle who take on the fight for human, civil and worker’s rights in the labor movement with their brothers and sisters. A union is only as strong as the participation of its membership. The strength and influence is in its numbers. Congratulations on a job well done to the all the members of Local 3 who marched and helped make the Labor Day Parade a success!


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