TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- It's a day off to celebrate the working class. The meaning of Labor Day was on the minds of hundreds in the Capital City Monday (9/3). Union members and supporters hit the streets for a 12th year, showing their appreciation for jobs, and the workers who fill them. The day was also a call for change at the Statehouse.
Participants say it was union members who brought us retirement benefits, a 40-hour work week, child labor laws, safer working conditions and better pay.
"I think it's just a parade and just a day for some people. just a day off. It means a lot to me. My family has worked hard their entire life. I work hard," working mom Racheal Coleman, of Topeka, said.
"A lot of people working on different jobs they don't get to see each other very much. This is one way the labor community can get together, just come together for a great day out with family and friends," Dan Woodard said. Woodard is the AFL-CIO Community Service Liaison.
The annual celebration continued from the streets to the Statehouse steps, with lunch and a rally, led by labor leaders and politicians. The speakers endorsed candidates they call pro-education, pro-labor and pro-Kansas. They say voting makes labor strong.
The celebration spotlighted people who work behind the scenes in the Capital City, and the people who built America.
"Hope everybody enjoys the weekend. You wouldn't have it if it hadn't been for labor unions all along," Woodard said.
Labor unions aren't just fighting for better working conditions, they're also fighting for more jobs. nearly 400 union members will lose their jobs from the closing of the Topeka Jostens facility by the end of this year.