Red, White & Blue

Jobs, politics take center stage at Laborfest

CREATED Sep 3, 2012 - UPDATED: Sep 3, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- Creating jobs and presidential politics were the two big topics at Milwaukee's annual Laborfest.

TODAY'S TMJ4's Lacey Crisp reports that union members took the day to enjoy a parade and each other, but with the Republican National Convention last week, and the Democratic National Convention starting this week, politics were on everyone's mind.

"We've got an election year, which seems to never end in Wisconsin.  We've got that in exactly nine weeks and a day," said state Senator Chris Larson.

On Milwaukee's lakefront, Laborfest kicked off with a parade and a party on the Summerfest Grounds.

"Enjoying the day off, and enjoying it with the rest of the laborers," said James Macon, shop floor representative for members of Amalgamated Transit Union.

"There's a lot of people who are continued to be excited about the labor movement.  The reason we have and enjoy a 40-hour work week, the reason we enjoy the weekend is built on the labor movement," explained Larson.

Lacey Crisp reports that you couldn't go far without seeing the impact of politics on this celebration

"We are looking forward to the November election," said 12th District Representative Fred Kessler.

"This year we're excited because we have a chance to vote for Tammy Baldwin for U.S. Senate.  We have a chance for another four years for Barack Obama, which I am certainly excited about," said current Local 317 business manager Mark Maierle.

Much of the focus there and in the presidential election is on creating jobs and growing the economy.

"I think he (President Obama) can win, because they (Republicans) offer no plan," argued Kessler.