Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke speaks out about the council’s choice to exclude Republicans from the Labor Day Parade in Wausau.
The council president says that after Governor Walker signed the bill, stripping most union workers of their rights to collectively bargain, a bill, he says was pushed through thanks to the support of area Republicans, he decided to ban them from the parade.
Radtke says Labor Day is about honoring hard working people, and in his opinion, Republicans don’t represent those values.
“They only want something to do with us one day out of the year,” Radtke says. “What about the other 364? What about those? Why now..why this one day?”
Clearly oblivious to the fact that Labor Day is meant to honor the social and economic achievements of American workers, the office of Republican Congressman Sean Duffy, who’s never been a friend to union workers, issued a statement whining about not being invited to Wausau’s Labor Day Parade, saying, “Having walked in this parade in past years, Congressman Duffy was hoping that for a moment, we could set our differences aside and simply have some fun in a family-friendly event.
In reading that statement, I get the distinct impression that Rep. Duffy really believes that Republican efforts to weaken labor unions – efforts which include the attacks by Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in the legislature against public employees – are just “differences” to be put aside when convenient. However, to those of us who’ve been directly impacted by the anti-union efforts of Republicans, this isn’t a “difference” to be put aside – it’s deeply personal.
I’m glad anti-union Republicans are being barred from participating in Wausau’s Labor Day Parade, because they shouldn’t be given the opportunity to appear as if they support workers when the reality is they support corporations and the wealthy, often at the expense of workers.