TUCSON – The 23rd annual Labor Day Picnic took place at Reid Park Monday.
Labor unions, members and their families gathered to celebrate what Labor day is all about.
Fabian Sandez is with the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. He’s president of the local 1912 for Arizona.
He said the founder of the union, Peter J. Maguire, was responsible for having Labor Day become a federal holiday in 1894.
Sandez said it was to unite workers that were getting abused by the contractors back then and Maguire was able to get them a decent wage, eight-hour workdays, and benefits.
Along with that followed safe job sites, medical and retirement packages, benefits used to this day.
He added the labor movement is growing in Arizona along with other states. “There’s a lot of need for manpower right now because Arizona has a lot of structure growth and the infrastructure is booming right now,” Sandez said.
Richard Corrales told news 4 Tucson he joined the union in 1960. While in California he saw first hand how the farmworkers were being mistreated. He credits the union for improving their conditions.
Luis Montanez is a firefighter and EMT with Rural Metro. He said the union has not only helped him, but they’ve also helped the members families. That’s why the picnic on Labor Day is so meaningful.