Labor Day is Monday. And while many folks take the long weekend to relax, the symbolic end of the summer means something different to union organizers.
For them it’s a day to celebrate the solidarity of their workers.
This year, policy in Indiana and across the country has continued to limit the influence and power unions have – and union membership is following that downward trend.
The Fort Wayne city council recently passed several ordinances eliminating mandatory union membership and putting limits on collective bargaining for some city union employees.
Tom Lewandowski is President of the Northeast Indiana Central Labor Council. He says the labor movement can be traced back hundreds of years.
“We’re gonna be around for a long time, and we always adapt," says Lewindowski. "Right now I think there is even greater resolve among workers than in the past. There are some folks who are disparited but the resiliance of workers to make sure they have voice and power is pretty strong.”
Lewindowski says policy changes have had a negative impact on the community that still feels support for the unions.
He says the unions’ annual Labor Day picnic at headwaters park brought out over 7,000 guests last year, and he expects even more this year.