Union Leaders Look at Labor Day

By Ben Manning | bmanning@wtajtv.com

Published 09/01 2014 10:02PM

Updated 09/02 2014 12:26AM

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - Local labor leaders look back the two big union fights in the past year, and the importance of this Labor Day.

For many people that means a day off work. But a group of union leaders want to tell people its more than that.
Paula Stellabotte is the chapter president for the local nurses union at UPMC Altoona This past winter they had a one-day strike and were locked out for a couple of more days.

Around the same time 142 First Energy workers were locked out in Altoona for twenty weeks. UWUA President Robert Whalen says they just signed a ratified a contract about three weeks ago.

Bob Kutz at the Blair Bedford Labor Council remembers standing in the cold with both unions. They all say unions have fought and accomplished for more than just their workers. Kutz says without labor unions there could still be children working in mines and factories, we might not have a 40 hour work week, and vacations and benefits might not exist.  And they ask people to remember that on Labor Day.

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