By Fighting Words Staff
After a three year hiatus, the Detroit Labor Day Parade took place in Corktown on Monday, September 4.
Thousands of members and leaders of organized labor unions participated in the gathering.
The unions involved at this year’s parade were the United Auto Workers (UAW), Teamsters, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), American Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), among many others.
This year’s event occurred with the backdrop of increasing labor militancy across the United States and internationally. A strike involving the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television of Television and Radio Announcers (SAG-AFTRA) continues after several months. There was almost a strike against UPS when 340,000 teamsters demanded and won substantial gains in wages and benefits. The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at the University of Michigan engaged in a months-long strike in order to win higher wages and enhanced benefits.
On September 4, the parade was led by UAW President Shawn Fain whose leadership has reflected a renewed determination to fight the bosses to reclaim the losses of the last period. Rank-and-file UAW members voted overwhelmingly to strike on September 14 if their demands are not met.
Members of Moratorium NOW! Coalition staffed a literature table which distributed over 1,300 leaflets on the need to end the proxy war in Ukraine. A banner was hoisted on the sidewalk of the parade route calling for the end to the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine and for spending on jobs, education, housing and infrastructure. The leaflet noted that: “Democrats and Republicans in Congress and President Biden in the White House have approved a total of $136 billion in military aid to the Ukrainian government since February 2022. Many tens of billions more were sent to Ukraine after the CIA and State Department overthrew the Ukraine government in a 2014 coup. Since 2014, ultra-right and pro-Nazi militias have been incorporated into the Ukrainian military…. The war and sanctions against Russia are causing a food crisis around the world as well as here in the U.S…. Poor and working people are suffering a 10% pay cut due to record inflation.”