The Owensboro Labor Council celebrated the importance of all workers with its annual picnic at Moreland Park on Monday. The event featured food, games, prizes, and live music from local bands. The picnic was open to the public and attracted hundreds of people who enjoyed the sunny weather and festive atmosphere.
A tradition of solidarity and support
The Owensboro Labor Council is a coalition of 18 unions that represent about 4,000 workers in various sectors, such as health care, education, manufacturing, construction, and public service. The council organizes the picnic every year to commemorate Labor Day and to show solidarity and support for the working class.
“We want to celebrate the achievements and contributions of the workers who make this community and this country great,” said Mike Clark, the president of the council. “We also want to raise awareness about the issues and challenges that workers face, such as low wages, unsafe working conditions, lack of benefits, and attacks on collective bargaining rights.”
Clark said that the council advocates for workers’ rights and interests at the local, state, and national levels. He said that some of the current priorities of the council are to increase the minimum wage, to protect workers’ health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to oppose the right-to-work legislation that weakens unions.
A day of fun and entertainment
The picnic offered a variety of activities and entertainment for the attendees. There were games for children and adults, such as cornhole, horseshoes, bingo, and raffles. There were also booths from various organizations that provided information and services to the workers, such as health screenings, legal advice, voter registration, and union membership.
The highlight of the picnic was the live music from local bands that performed on a stage set up at the park. The bands included The Bluegrass Boys, The Rockin’ Rebels, The Soul Sisters, and The Funky Monkeys. The music genres ranged from bluegrass to rock to soul to funk, catering to different tastes and preferences of the audience.
“The music is awesome,” said Lisa Jones, a nurse who attended the picnic with her family. “It’s nice to relax and enjoy some good tunes after a long week of work.”
Jones said that she appreciated the efforts of the council to organize the picnic and to represent the workers. She said that she was a member of a union and that she benefited from having a voice and a contract at her workplace.
“I think unions are very important for workers,” she said. “They help us negotiate better wages, benefits, working conditions, and job security. They also help us fight for social justice and equality for all.”
A message of hope and gratitude
The picnic also featured speeches from several speakers who addressed the crowd and thanked them for their participation and support. The speakers included Steve Madrone, the mayor of Owensboro; Mary Smith, the president of the Kentucky AFL-CIO; John Brown, a local labor leader who received an award for his service; and Tim Jones, a worker who shared his story of overcoming adversity.
The speakers emphasized the importance of unity and solidarity among workers and urged them to continue their struggle for dignity and respect. They also expressed their hope and optimism for the future of the labor movement and the working class.
“We are here today to celebrate our past achievements, but also to look forward to our future goals,” said Smith. “We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. We have to keep working together, organizing together, voting together, and fighting together for a better tomorrow.”
The speakers also expressed their gratitude to the workers for their hard work and dedication during the pandemic. They praised them for their courage and resilience in facing the challenges and risks posed by the virus.
“You are the heroes of this crisis,” said Madrone. “You are the essential workers who keep this city running. You are the health care workers who save lives. You are the teachers who educate our children. You are the factory workers who produce goods. You are the service workers who provide services. You are the backbone of this economy and this society. You deserve our respect, our appreciation, and our support.”