Solidarity Center Honors the American Worker 

Folks turned out to the Solidarity Center in Brewer Monday for a Labor Day celebration focused on the past… present…and future… of the the American worker. “Those who clean the toilets, empty the bedpans, do the clerical work, do everything needed to keep our society and community going.”Recognizing people who work for a living Jack McKay of the Eastern Maine Labor Council says that was one goal of their Labor Day celebration.Another is understanding the contributions of organized labor across the country. “I hope they understand that organized labor is actually responsible for most of their benefits they have today. Whether it be healthcare, paid vacations, a pension plan, all those things were gotten by organized labor and then passed on.”Emergy Deabay is part of a group traveling to Washington this week to about the future of labor. They’ll be speaking to members of the congressional delegation in support of the free choice act. “This time we’re going with a very diverse group. We have farmers, religious leaders. It’s not just a labor issue, it’s a people issue.”Pastor Mark Doty is part of the group going to Washington. He says for him, the act touches on moral and civil rights issues. “It’s about raising people into the middle class who might not have an opportunity to get there. It’s about helping folks have a life free of bullying, of intimidation.”They hope to convince Sen. Snowe to support the employee free choice act when it comes to the senate making the act part of this generations contribution to the labor agenda. “We pay too much and get too little. It’s time to change the system so it works better for the majority of Americans.”The celebration also included a picnic and entertainment later in the day.Proceeds go to the group’s solidarity harvest: a program that provides locally grown food for laid-off workers’ thanksgiving dinners.