Yesterday being Labor Day and all, what a better way to remember and celebrate labor in the United States than a good old fashioned union action? Yeah, I know that many struggle with unions these days, but I am one of those who believes that working people, middle-class and those who do not occupy the upper echelons of our socioeconomic world are unfairly targeted both for blame for and relief from our current economic woes. So you can surely feel free to comment on unions if you want, but that’s where I am.
This particular rally and march was organized by UniteHere and the Hotel & Restaurant Employees & Bartenders Union Local 2. There were many groups who sent delegations and I was part of the contingent from Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-CA). Others with whom I have had some connection included Filipino Community Center, Church Women United and the Jewish Progressive Alliance, there were many, many, many organizations and public officials present.
This focus of this particular Labor Day was to gather people to show our support for workers facing long-term contract disputes and their subsequent called boycott. This was also about making a public statement to folks doing business in San Francisco that some of us hope for better treatment of its workers. The Hyatt contract journey is complex, but with many of the other large hotel chains agreeing to contracts, the Hyatt and a few others are still holding out.
In any case, I brought my camera along to capture the day. As I walked the march it was fascinating to see the passion and energy that is galvanized by organized labor. As we walked the rally route, the reaction was diverse: there were fists of support lifted from passing cars, at least one middle finger given from the the top of one of the double decker busses and vacationers were clearly captivated. The highlight for me was the breadth of people there and the energy that was garnered to support the workers.
Below are a few pictures from the day. There was a least one anti-union person there taking pictures and documenting who was there, so I have not included many faces in the pics, just signs and other interesting views. If you want to see them all, you can check out the Local Union 2 Labor Day March Photo Album.
Again, please see the COMPLETE PHOTO ALBUM if you want to see more pics from the day.