Granite City parade will promote state labor amendment

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Monday’s Granite City Labor Day parade, one of the largest parades in the region, is themed “Vote Yes on Workers’ Rights Amendment.” 

The parade steps off at 10 a.m. Monday, lining up along Niedringhaus Avenue and traveling along Madison Avenue to Wilson Park where a picnic for union members, their families and invited guests is planned.

Dean Webb, President of the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, said the Granite City parade often sees crowds “three or four deep” along the route. 

“It’s amazing,” Webb said. “It’s a pretty big parade. Granite city has a good crowd. It’s a big union town. Belleville is a pretty close race; they’re pretty comparable in size and crowd-wise. They’re both pretty good parades.”

The theme focuses on the Nov. 8 referendum on whether the Illinois Constitution should be amended. Webb said the amendment “supports worker’s rights and basically outlaws the right to work for less in the state of Illinois, among many other things.

“This is a great bill,” he said. “We’re really pushing it. We’re hoping people vote yes for that. And it’s good not just for union members; it’s just good for working people.” 

Webb said information regarding the 1,000 Granite City steelworkers predicted to lose their jobs by 2024  is still in the early talks. The Greater Madison County Federation of Labor has contacted politicians and plans to show their support, he said, but the Steelworkers Union is primarily handling the discussions. 

With the Nov. 8 elections approaching, Webb said at least six or seven endorsed candidates from the AFL-CIO plan to walk in the parade. 

Madison County Clerk and Recorder Debra Ming-Mendoza, a Democrat, is the parade marshal this year. The Granite City High School band will be among the many participants, as well as several steelworkers “since that is a steel town,” according to Webb. 

“It’s just a very diverse group,” Webb said, “Come on out and support our workers at the parade.” 

 

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September 2, 2022 at 04:15PM

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