“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” -- Abraham Lincoln.
On a sun-drenched, weather-perfect morning, thousands of union workers Monday marched alongside union leaders and politicans down Michigan Avenue for Detroit's Labor Day Parade.
While it seemed similar to parades of previous years, there were some things worth noting.
For one, a small group of less than a dozen UAW members showed up to protest the highly-publicized corruption in their union at the upper levels that has lead to indictments. UAW President Gary Jones marched in the parade for a while with members, but vanished before it was over. Some speculated he left because of the protest.
And unlike previous parades, there were very few anti-Donald Trump messages except for a T-shirt here and there and a man from New York selling anti-Trump buttons.
And another thing worth noting: With the 2020 election just around the corner, no Democratic presidential candidates (and there are still plenty) showed up on Labor Day in a state that Donald Trump won in 2016. There were two groups -- one for Sen. Bernie Sanders and another for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- that marched in the parade, wearing T-shirts and carrying signs. But neither candidate was there.
Sanders had scheduled stops in Maine and New Hampshire on Monday. And Buttigieg, along with presidential hopefuls Sen. Michael Bennet and former Vice President Joe Biden, planned to visit Iowa City.
Still, there were notables in attendance including Teamsters President James P. Hoffa Jr., Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, who marched briefly with Hoffa, state Attorney General Dana Nessel and U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence, Rashida Tlaib, Debbie Dingell and Haley Stevens.