The Annual Labor Day Family Picnic at Bay Beach Amusement Park brought together families and government officials on Monday. The event was sponsored by The Greater Green Bay Labor Council’s ALF-CIO Community Services Program.
“The fact of the matter is that it’s for the workers to celebrate their day,” said Jeff Knaus, business manager at UA Local 400 Plumbers and Steamfitters.
The annual picnic included food, drinks, raffles, and music. There was also a presentation of the colors, and a proclamation by Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach.
It was also focused on the importance of the middle class. Jeff Knaus says Labor Day also highlights the accomplishments of unions in America.
“If you’re [part of the] working class, if you want to further the middle class, join a union,” Knaus said. “Join together, join your forces together – better pay, better benefits.”
Organizers say if there are no unions, there is no middle class. Knaus says labor unions look out for working families, pension plans, workers comp, and rising health care costs.
“And with a union, that can help you curb some of those costs because you’re all in it together,” he said. “Joining a union would be the best thing for the working class.”
State Senator Dave Hansen was also in attendance and says we need to look after the workers of this country – after the state got rid of local prevailing wages, and because the next budget plans to cut state prevailing wages.
“We’re taking money out of the pockets of the hardworking men and women of this state,” said Hansen. “We can do better and we have to grill the economy by providing family-supporting jobs. We’re just not doing that in this current administration.”
Politics aside, Hansen says on Monday, we honor the working class.
“The focus of this Monday is more than just having a picnic,” he said. “It’s to recognize all the hardworking men and women of this state and of our country.”
Proceeds from the event will be donated to area shelters and food pantries.