Photos from the 2022 Bloomington Labor Day Parade - Vote Yes for the Workers' Rights Amendment. Click on this link to view the photos:
The sidewalks were packed when the Bloomington Labor Day Parade marched on September 5. Over 70 units participated in the parade, representing local unions, community organizations, elected officials, candidates and local businesses. A perennial crowd favorite is Illinois State University’s “Big Red Marching Machine,” with over 300 ISU students marching, including ISU President Terri Terri Goss Kinzy. Three high school bands also joined in.
This year’s Parade theme was “Vote Yes: Workers’ Rights Amendment,” supporting the November 8 election referendum to add workers’ rights to the Illinois Constitution. Numerous union and community groups carried signs and banners supporting the measure.
This year’s WJBC-AM “Laborer of the Year” was a couple, Greg and Mary Zappa. Greg is retired, a 48-year Laborers Local 362 member, where he worked construction. Mary is a retired nurse. The two are regular volunteers with multiple activities. On August 27 they both donated blood at the Laborers Local 362 drive. They assist together with Tinervin Foundation food bank activities and have volunteered at Special Olympics, the Salvation Army and multiple other local charities. “With two you get one,” said John Penn, Midwest Region Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Regional Manager and a LIUNA Vice-President. “Greg and Mary are both the first to volunteer, no questions asked and with a ready to serve attitude. They bring a great attitude and not only volunteer, but their good nature makes the event enjoyable for those around them. They certainly deserve this honor.”
This year’s Parade Marshal was American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 1110 President Charles “Chuck” Carver. AFSCME 1110 represents Illinois State University’s 325 service workers. Besides working at ISU and leading his union, Chuck volunteers as a DJ at celebration of life services and parties, plus plays Santa at Christmas. This past spring Chuck led his local’s contract negotiations with ISU. “Chuck is not only devoted to his own members but to other union workers and the labor movement,” said Trades & Labor President Adam Heenan. “Chuck is 100 percent union all of the time!”
The Bloomington & Normal Trades & Labor Assembly is the local AFL-CIO central labor council, where 31 local unions have convened in mutual support for over a century. The Assembly’s jurisdiction includes McLean, Livingston, Logan and DeWitt counties.