Working people from throughout the New York metropolitan region proudly marched up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue September 8 in the 130th annual Labor Day Parade.
The 1199SEIU contingent was led by President George Gresham and Secretary Treasurer Maria Castaneda. The main message of the 1199SEIU marchers was the importance of re-electing President Barack Obama. The float that led the contingent bore signs for President Obama and blasted rhythm and blues tunes such as “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.”
Although the day began with heavy rain and even tornadoes in parts of the city, the weather did not dampen the marchers’ spirits. 1199ers cheered and chanted throughout the march. Onlookers and marchers from other unions gave 1199ers the thumbs up and many asked for the 1199SEIU T-shirts calling for support for Obama.
Marchers also carried placards and urged support for other issues such as healthcare reform. Homecare members Carmen Morales, Marie Duroseau and Carmen Rivas marched behind n 1199SEIU banner declaring support for immigrant rights.
“Working people really did build this country,” said marcher Verna Johnson, a home attendant at All Season Home Care in Manhattan. “We should all stand up today to show our unity.”