Wilmington Parade, Downtown Rally Mark Labor Day in Los Angeles County

US American flag on worn white wooden background. For USA Memorial day, Veteran's day, Labor day, or 4th of July celebration. With blank space for text.

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Labor Day was marked in Los Angeles County today with the 41st annual Labor Solidarity Parade in Wilmington and a rally outside the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration by a union representing caregivers with the In-Home Supportive Services Program.

The parade began at the intersection of Broad Avenue and E Street, went west on E Street to Avalon Boulevard and continued north on Avalon Boulevard to M Street, concluding at Banning Park, where a rally and barbecue were held. The theme was ``Unions Marching Forward in 2022!'' It was organized by the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition, whose chairman, Larry Barragan, called it ``the largest West Coast Labor Day solidarity parade.''

Starbucks Workers United, which is seeking to unionize Starbucks stores, participated in the parade for the first time. Tyler Keeling, a barista trainer who led the successful effort to unionize a Lakewood Starbucks, was among the speakers at the rally, along with Ron Herrera, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

The parade was canceled the past two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, replaced with a food distribution both years. A crowd estimated by organizers at nearly 1,200 members of SEIU Local 2015 and their supporters attended the rally, which included speeches by caregivers, elected officials and clergy members urging the LA County Board of Supervisors to establish a $20 hourly wage for caregivers.

The union describes itself as the nation's largest long-term care union representing more than 400,000 nursing home and home care workers. In his Labor Day proclamation, President Joe Biden wrote, ``American workers have built our communities, laid the foundation for our democracy, and powered the engine of our prosperity. From the factory hands who forged an arsenal of democracy and helped beat back fascism during World War II, to the immigrants who assembled the transcontinental railroad that connected America's coasts, to the health care professionals and first responders who mobilized selflessly during the pandemic to save countless lives, American workers have guided us through our most difficult moments and delivered some of our nation's greatest triumphs.''

Labor Day, the yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the nation, was first celebrated in the United States on Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. In 1887, Oregon became the first state to formally recognize Labor Day. By 1894, 31 of the then-44 states had made Labor Day a holiday when Congress passed a bill designating the first Monday in September a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and territories.

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