Labor Day Parade Sept. 2, 2019

Thousands lined Main Street Monday in Peoria for the annual Labor Day Parade.

With ever-increasing wage inequality in this country, more labor unions realize the road to recovery is political reform. Congress is inordinately influenced by massive donations from ultra-wealthy conservatives and corporations that are unfriendly to unions.

Even with low union membership, most Americans still endorse the proclamation of union organizer Samuel Gompers more than a century ago: “What does labor want? . . . We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more constant work and less crime, more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures.”

For an excellent assessment of labor unions, see the new book “Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present and Future of American Labor” by Steven Greenhouse, Knopf 2019.

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