Labor Day may have come and gone, but New York City’s annual march celebrating America’s workforce will step off in Midtown this Saturday morning, with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh leading the way as its grand marshal.
Sponsored by the AFL-CIO and the New York City Central Labor Council, the New York City Labor Day Parade gets underway at 10 a.m. on Sept. 10, with contingents of unions and supporters marching along 5th Avenue from 44th to 64th Streets.
Themed “Workers Leading, Workers Rising,” the parade will also recognize co-chairs AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond and state Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon — as well as the tens of thousands of unionized essential workers who weathered the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the city and country running.
“One hundred forty years after the first New York City Labor Day parade, we will march by the thousands once again to celebrate not just the union champions who came before us, but the working people across this country who are standing up, taking risks and fighting to organize their workplaces,” said Redmond. “This holiday is brought to you by the labor movement, and after the events of the last several years, it will be an honor to walk alongside the countless workers who have sacrificed so much to move our country forward.”
Walsh, the former mayor of Boston, was nominated as labor secretary by President Joe Biden in 2021. Prior to becoming an elected official in Massachusetts, he had been a staunch labor leader, having served in the Laborers Local 223 in Boston, the same union of which his father was a member.
He would later go on to lead the Building and Construction Trades Council between 2011 and 2013, working alongside business and community leaders to promote development and increase workplace diversity.
During his time as mayor of Boston, Walsh helped create close to 140,000 jobs and advocated for programs long supported by labor unions, including a statewide $15 per hour minimum wage, paid sick leave, paid parental leave, universal pre-k and free community college for low-income students.
“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to empowering workers to organize and collectively bargain and, at the Department of Labor, we are playing a leading role in mobilizing the federal government’s efforts to protect and advance the rights of America’s workers,” said Secretary Walsh. “This Labor Day, I’m thrilled to be Grand Marshal of the New York City Labor Day Parade and look forward to honoring the workers who carried our nation through a pandemic.”
The New York City Central Labor Council, as the parade’s main supporter, includes more than 300 local unions representing 1.3 million workers from every trade and occupation in the city, in both the public and private sectors. The council’s president, Vincent Alvarez, expressed pride in Walsh, Redmond and Reardon being recognized for their service at this year’s march.
“We are honored to be led by Secretary Walsh, Secretary-Treasurer Redmond, and Commissioner Reardon, three lifelong labor leaders whose commitment to the cause of working people has improved the lives of millions of working families across our state and our nation,” Alvarez said.
For more information on this year’s Labor Day Parade, visit the New York City Central Labor Council’s website, nycclc.org.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.