Rain impacts local Labor Day celebrations

By Millaine Wells, Local 5 News

Published 09/01 2014 03:01PM

Updated 09/01 2014 07:09PM

(WFRV) - Mother Nature rained on the Labor Day parade in the Fox Cities, canceling the event for the first time in more than 20 years.

But, the picnic went on as scheduled at the Neenah Labor Temple.

"It is our day to celebrate, but it is also our day to give back to the community and let people know what union members are doing today, what they have done throughout history" explains Mark Westphal, President of the Fox Valley Area Labor Council.

It is also a chance to look at challenges ahead, particularly in a big election year.

"We are going to be talking about raising the minimum wage, workers rights, women's rights, voting rights" says Westphal.

Union supporter Barbara Winter also supports an increase in minimum wage. "A minimum of $10 would be a fair wage, but it must also be indexed that as the cost of living goes up, that automatically goes up" she says.

The same items were on the unofficial agenda in Green Bay as politicians mingled with voters at Bay Beach.

"I think this is a hard time for unions so I think it is important we come out to show that we support them, that we are a part of them" Regan Bardeen, who was celebrating Labor Day with her family.

Steel workers, pipe fitters, auto workers and more, sharing a day of rest and sharing ideas for the future.

"It is very important for people to understand that labor is the backbone of this country" Winter says.

The Fox Cities Labor Day picnic goes until 6:00 pm, at the Neenah Labor Temple.

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