Day 2016: not just for selling sofas
Labor Day Archives
the National Association of Letter Carriers, American Federation
of Government Employees, Communications Workers of America, International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, United Auto Workers, and International
Painters and Allied Trades pose for a quick picture at the top of
C Street in Virginia City just before the 2012 Labor Day parade
(RGJ photo provided by International Union
of Painters and Allied Trades.)
march that never ends/ Workers march through historic Virginia City on
fight continues two centuries down the road
KTVN TV-2 / 9-5-2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
MIKE PILCHER, President
Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO
LABOR ON LABOR DAY
Area workers again march through historic Virginia
City on Monday to celebrate the value of work on Labor Day
VIRGINIA CITY, NEV.
stands for much more than selling sofas. Area workers will take that
message to the streets of Virginia City.
"Everyone is welcome to march with us in Monday's Labor Day parade,"
stated Northern Nevada Central Labor Council President Mike Pilcher,
a longtime Reno firefighter.
"America fought the Civil War to end forced, unpaid labor and this
country still suffers from the bitter after-effects," Pilcher added.
"After the war, American workers fought and died to win benefits
that today are taken for granted," he said. "The eight-hour
day, the 40-hour week, overtime and sick leave, workplace safety, health
care, retirement benefits and protection from discrimination did not
just fall out of the sky," he noted.
"Fully honoring the value of work gave the United States the strongest
economy in the history of the world in the decades following World War
II. Most people are not aware that at their peak, unions represented
only a third of the workforce. However, independent research has consistently
proven that a rising tide lifts all boats. Expanding union wages raises
everyone's pay," he said. (1)
"The decline of organized labor membership perfectly correlates
with the tremendously increased share of national income going to the
top 10 percent of the population. Degrading the worth of work combined
with government-assisted export of good jobs has resulted in the turmoil
of today," Pilcher added. (2)
On Monday, union members will march to honor one of their own, retired
sheet metal worker (Local 26/AFL-CIO) Samuel
Kent Lumpe, who passed away on August 24 at age 76.
On the day he died, "when it was clear that he was declining rapidly,
he still really wanted to attend the Labor Day fest in Virginia City,"
said his daughter Lora.
"Sam always showed up and quietly excelled, which is why he was
inducted into the César
Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame," Pilcher said.
"Sam will walk with us on Monday.
"Ironically, California Gov. Jerry Brown now has on his
desk a bill that can finally fulfill César Chávez's fondest
wish 23 years after his death. If signed, it will grant California farm
workers overtime pay. At last. Nevada remains far behind," he stated.
Lumpe was a ubiquitous community volunteer, raising money for the Nevada
Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, which
honored him for his labors of love. In 1988, he received an award from
then-Gov. Richard Bryan for registering more voters than anyone
else in the state.
"Labor Day is about honoring historical struggles, sacrifices and
accomplishments while recognizing the continuing spirit, productivity
and value of American workers," Pilcher said.
"Commerce and labor are two sides of the same coin. Their relationship
is both inseparable and symbiotic. The health of one absolutely depends
upon the health of the other. All business owners know that their best
customers are well-paid workers with money to spend and the time to
do so. American laborers are the consumer catalysts who fuel economic
success," he added.
Monday's Virginia City Labor Day Parade forms at 11:00 a.m. at the 4th
Ward School, 528 South "C" Street. The event gets underway
at noon. More information may be obtained by contacting Liz
Sorensen at Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO
(775) 322-9413. All participants are invited to a free barbecue at parade's
Information and photos on Virginia City Labor Day parades going back
to 1908 (the last year the Chicago Cubs won a World Series) may be accessed
1. Profs. James Medoff and Richard Freeman ("What
Do Unions Do?" / Basic Books, 1984)
Freeman's followup "America Works"
(Sage Foundation, 2007)
Economic Policy Institute "Union
decline lowers wages of nonunion workers decline in unions cost
nonunion workers $133 billion" (2016)
2. See graph from the Economic Policy Institute posted hereinbelow.
Pilcher is the elected president of the Northern Nevada Central Labor
Council/AFL-CIO. He is a longtime Reno firefighter and member of International
Association of Firefighters Local 731/AFL-CIO.
in the endless chronicles of America's ongoing disrespect for
many working for minimum wage, the ends never meet
note: And nobody remembers workers laboring under the federal
Railway Act who get LESS than the federal minimum wage
Theresa Vargas / Washington Post/ Philadelphia Inquirer 9-5-2016
the Railway Act, somebody subject to tips can have tips credited
against the minimum wage. Tour bus companies use a tip pool
and often skim any overage to profit. They can also charge a
lot of operating expenses against the tips, so those workers,
e.g., guys who load/unload baggage (some of whom I've talked
to), actually end up with less than the minimum. Complain? Whaddayou,
dreamin'? Nobody can afford to.
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