LaborFest celebration sees an increase of participation, more workers wanting to join unions
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The South Central Federation of Labor celebrated Labor Day in Madison with LaborFest, a time for workers to come together and enjoy all the things they do, as well as be able to vocalize their issues.
The South Central Federation of Labor is an umbrella organization of labor unions representing workers in south central Wisconsin. Its President Kevin Gundlach says that this year is unique compared to previous events.
“I think this year’s really unique, actually. This year is really unprecedented. We have more organizing efforts and drives, and workers wanting to join unions than we’ve ever seen in over 50 years.” Gundlach said.
Laborfest also saw an increase in participation from both existing unions and workers that have expressed interest in unionizing.
“So we have about 80-90 unions that are affiliated with our labor council, and we have over 20 groups of workers, six that have gone public, and another dozen other that have come to use because they expressed interest in unionizing,” Gundlach said.
Laborfest also brought forth many UW health nurses, calling for union recognition ahead of the strike announced last month.
The event featured performances from the Chris O’Leary Band and VO5, as well as the opportunity to meet Governor Tony Evers and U.S. Senator candidate Mandela Barnes.
There was also a drive held for to help collect donations for homeless students in the Madison area.
The South Central Federation of Labor asked people to bring gift cards and other donations such as color pencils, non-permanent markers, composition books, flash cards, deodorant, small bottles of laundry soap, hand/body lotion, pocket folders and African American hair products.
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