PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a “show of labor solidarity” Monday by workers at Philadelphia’s Labor Day parade and rally at Penn’s Landing.
Hundreds of people, if not more, gathered at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall in South Philadelphia for the annual Labor Day parade.
“I love it because it shows the love and solidarity where everybody comes together and we unite as one,” said one union worker. “We all unite to come together for a great cause.”
Mayor Jim Kenney was among the many city officials in attendance. He spoke about the importance of unions in his life.
“Everything I have, everything I’ve accomplished in my life, has to do with the fact that my parents were members of a union. We all had union protection because they got together, the bargained for their salary and their working conditions and their benefits, and that’s the way it should be in this country,” the mayor said. “It’s about people sticking together helping each other out, caring about each other and their families and getting the best deal they can get for their work day. And I think if we all stick together we’ll be fine.”
The parade ended at Penn’s Landing, where workers were treated to food, drinks, music, fun and games.
And during the festivities, some unions even teamed up to gather clothes, water, food and other items for people affected by Hurricane Harvey
Car after car stopped to drop off goods at a temporary donation center at the corner of Columbus Boulevard and Washington Avenue, organized by the Philadelphia Building Trades, the local AFL-CIO, and the Teamsters Union.
By mid-day, the tractor-trailer was packed with bottled water, non-perishable food, toiletries and other donations.
Seeing images of the devastation in Texas pushed Chris Tartaglia of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 to donate toothbrushes, soup, and other items.
“Seeing Houston, it looked like it was an ocean. It didn’t look like a city,” Tartaglia said.
“Us, as a community, the labor community, we joined together on this Labor Day to do our part,” said a worker. “It makes me feel good about Philly. When we say union, we try to set the tide for all people.”
Now, there’s a sea of donations pouring in.
“Philadelphia is stepping up big time. Every walk of life, you’re seeing coming up here. Every race, every creed,” said Brian Stevenson, business representative at IBEW Local 98.
The trailer of donated goods is scheduled to be driven directly to the Lone Star State next week.
Later this month, some of the unions are teaming up again — this time for a blood drive to help those hit by Harvey.