Press release from the North Carolina State AFL-CIO:
United Steelworkers (USW) Smoky Mountain Local 507, AFL-CIO, CLC proudly hosted the 113th Canton Labor Day Parade, the longest-running Labor Day parade in the South, featuring a float by the Western North Carolina Central Labor Council marshalled by NC State AFL-CIO president MaryBe McMillan.
“Today, the 125th anniversary of Labor Day becoming an official holiday in the United States, we are celebrating the power of working people who built this country and make it run every day,” said Ron Ingerick, president of the Western NC CLC and State Legislative Director for SMART, the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union.
Since 1906, a papermill has been the economic heart of Haywood County, North Carolina, where, for over forty years now, successive generations of millworkers and members of USW Local 507 have used their freedom to join together in union to organize and ensure shared prosperity in the mountain town of Canton.
“At the end of the day I do believe that most folks acknowledge the fact that they are able to say with pride and dignity, ‘I have a very good job,’ and I think a lot of that’s due to the local being here,” said Local 507 president Keith Jenkins to the Smoky Mountain News in 2018.
“Together with the support of unions like Local 507 and the leadership of our labor councils,” said McMillan, “we are building a labor movement with the power to win victories for working people from the mountains to the sea and for many years to come.”