Many Pittsburghers think the city’s annual Labor Day parade is a celebration of the American worker. More precisely, it is an event sponsored by the Allegheny County Labor Council that showcases the area’s unions and their causes — and it’s their right.
The Downtown parade draws a large audience and wave upon wave of marchers, a minority of whom are not union members but government officials.
One elected leader whom parade goers won’t see this year is Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who was told by the labor council that he wasn’t invited. That’s petty and it looks partisan.
Although it’s true that many union members — from teachers to liquor store clerks, for instance — are not fans of Mr. Corbett, other union members — from the building trades and other fields — are. In fact, leaders of the Boilermakers Local 154 and the Laborers District Council of Western Pennsylvania asked the governor to march Downtown on Sept. 1, only to have their invitation quashed by the county labor council.
It’s not as if other Republicans or politicians who are not totally in sync with labor’s agenda don’t routinely march in the procession.
Although it’s not our parade, or even the public’s, we say the labor council should let Mr. Corbett march. Some of the bystanders will applaud and others will jeer. And isn’t that what all American workers, both union and nonunion, deserve — the ability to speak truth to power?