Massena celebrates Labor Day with Solidarity Day parade, picnic

September 7, 2015 - Picnic Time


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MASSENA —For some, Labor Day was an event to glow adult a griddle for an unaccepted end-of-summer picnic.

For others, Monday was a possibility to uncover oneness and simulate on a contributions finished by unions to make a workplace better.

Solidarity was clear in a 35th annual Solidarity Day parade, as 49 units marched underneath a breathless object from Center Street during Willow Street, down Main Street and past a throng that filled both sides of a street, and finished during Springs Park.

“It’s a good showing. Massena is a bottom of orderly labor. The state of labor for a north country, quite St. Lawrence County, is good. we can’t contend a same for a nation,” pronounced Ernest J. LaBaff, boss emeritus of a Aluminum, Brick and Glass Workers International Union.

The march was started 35 years ago by Roger B. Clough, former business manager for a International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2032, and Stephan R. Matzan, former boss of United Auto Workers Local 465.

“This is 35 years of parades. It brings behind good memories. Former Business Manager Roger Clough was one of a guys that started it,” pronounced Peter Dishaw, business manager for a IBEW Local 2032.

Monday was a day to simulate on what orderly labor has finished over a years, and what it can do in a years ahead. Mr. LaBaff, who has been concerned with orderly labor for 65 years, pronounced a destiny depends on a new boss and who controls Congress.

“The choosing is not about Republican or Democrat. It’s about what’s good for America. Unions are good for America,” he said.

Looking during a past, Mr. LaBaff pronounced unions were once strong, though have mislaid some of their poke over their years. Some workers are still perplexing to tarry on smallest salary salaries, and jobs are going overseas, where there are no unions or smallest wage.

It’s time to repair that, he said.

“I do not see a support for orderly labor,” he said. “Organized labor represents operative people — not usually a kinship members, though all workers.”

He can remember a day when Massena was a abounding kinship town. General Motors had 1,800 members, Alcoa West had 2,000 and Reynolds had 500.

“I started during Alcoa in ’51. In ‘56 there were 6,500 workers there,” he said.

Since then, a numbers have dwindled to 750 workers during Alcoa’s West Plant, and Alcoa officials have not nonetheless finished a integrity on a company’s due $600 million-plus modernization plan in Massena. They design to control a financial examination during a finish of 2015 and pierce brazen thesis to house approval.

“I trust it’s going to be favorable. The energy agreement is tied to a awaiting of modernization,” Mr. LaBaff said.

He called a modernization “critical” and pronounced if it didn’t occur, it was a “serious problem.”

Solidarity Parade Committee co-chairman Ronald P. McDougall, who also chairs a region’s Central Trades Council, pronounced a destiny in Massena will be not usually Alcoa’s due modernization, though also a standing of Massena Memorial Hospital. The hospital, whose unions embody a Civil Service Employees Association and New York State Nurses Association, had during one time been on a trail to converting from a metropolitan sanatorium to a not-for-profit facility.

“It’s open and apparently doing better,” Mr. McDougall said

On a state and inhabitant level, he pronounced he believes some-more people know that a Great Recession was not caused by labor.

“It was caused by greed,” he said, citing subprime mortgages as one of a issues. “That’s a medication for recession.”

He pronounced unions would continue to quarrel for worker’s rights — those they paint and those who are not dependent with unions — in a years ahead.

“It’s something we don’t take lightly,” he said.

Robert A. Smith, boss of United Steelworkers Local 420-A, pronounced he believes unions will arise again.

“I consider in a destiny you’re going to demeanour behind and see that it was cyclical. Unfortunately, we’re during a down indicate in that history, though we trust we will see a resurgence of a labor movement. People will not be left but a voice,” he said.

On Monday, it was all about spotlighting orderly labor during a march and following during a cruise during Springs Park. This year’s parade’s thesis was “Without oneness we all mount alone.”

“It usually feels great. It’s good to share a day and place like this with labor. It shows a strength. We have a common voice,” Mr. Smith said.

The day also gave them an event to share their concerns with politicians who came to city to uncover their oneness with a unions.

“It gives us a possibility to speak to politicians about a jobs we’re losing and tutelage programs,” Mr. Dishaw said.

Among a inaugurated officials on palm were state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell and St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin M. Wells.

Winners of a Solidary Day raffle were David O’Brien from Watertown, who took home $10,000; Nick McLaughlin from North Lawrence, who won $5,000; Dennis Block from Massena, who won $1,000; Roger LaPlatney from Harrisville, whose sheet was value $500; Mary Manning from Massena, who took home $400; Beth Cassada from Watertown, who won $300; Breir Marion of Massena, who won $200; and Amara McCarthy, who won $100.

Winners were also comparison by judges for their march floats, with AFGE Local 1968 holding first, IBEW 2032 holding second and USW 420 and 450 earning third place.

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