President of the North Coast Area Labor Federation and District 1 director of the United Steelworkers, Pat Gallagher spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on Aug. 20 to discuss Labor Day rallies and worker engagement.
Celebrating Labor Day during a pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic remains present in northeast Ohio and throughout the country, most, if not all, Labor Day celebrations have been cancelled.
The North Coast Area Labor Federation typically holds an all-day event on the Saturday before Labor Day. The coronavirus has caused event organizers to become creative as election years are critical to the labor community.
Gallagher said the North Coast Area Labor Federation still plans on holding some sort of gathering, even if from a distance.
A socially distant Labor Day
He explained a series of events in union membership dense areas of northeast Ohio on multiple weekends. The events would include social distancing, where people could pull up in a vehicle and be separated by a parking space. The attendees could then either remain in their vehicles or hang around just outside of their vehicles. Entertainment would be provided by members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 4. Local political figures and guests would also make an appearance in the community and give speeches.
The importance of labor in the 2020 election
Gallagher then discussed the need for the labor community to participate in the 2020 Presidential Election. Instead of remaining complacent, Gallagher challenged listeners to study the issues and learn about how decisions affect their job and all that comes with it.
Lastly, Gallagher spoke on why the United Steelworkers threw their support behind Democratic Candidate, Joe Biden.