Unions celebrate Labor Day with annual parade in Philadelphia

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While many are enjoying a much deserved day off, the Labor Day holiday is meant to honor the American worker and the labor movement. (WPVI)

Thousands of rank-and-file union members representing dozens of locals from across the Delaware Valley took part in Philadelphia's annual Labor Day parade along Columbus Boulevard.

And there was plenty of enthusiasm on display.

Pennsylvania now has a governor that big labor considers a friend.

Gov. Tom Wolf was the featured speaker at the kickoff for today's celebration.

Wolf is currently embroiled in a budget dispute with the Republican-controlled General Assembly as he tries, among other priorities, to increase public school funding.

The Labor Day crowd made it clear it loves having a Democrat in the governor's office.

"We need to support the public goods that make this society work, like public education, like good roads and good bridges and good mass transit," Wolf told the enthusiastic crowd.

There are many major elections coming up, not the least of which is the presidential election next year.

But for right now, the statewide elections are dead ahead. Labor leaders in our area say they are making those the main priority.

"We have an election coming up for the City of Philadelphia for mayor," said Pat Eiding, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the AFL-CIO. "We have Supreme Court justices that have to be elected in the state of Pennsylvania. And what we're doing is talking to our rank-and-file to make sure they understand the importance of that. Right now, that may be as important as the national elections."
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