PRESS RELEASE from Change to Win

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Change to Win: Noreen Nielsen
AFL-CIO: Alison Omens
NEA: Staci Maiers


    America’s Workers United For Change

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 20, hundreds of America’s working men and women will join representatives from across the country and our armed forces to participate in the official inaugural parade for the nation’s 44th president, Barack Obama. The 2009 inauguration marks the first time in recent history that representatives from America’s labor unions have been invited to march in the official parade. The 265-person ensemble will include members from Change to Win, the AFL-CIO and the National Education Association.

“The Inaugural Parade is a celebration of America and the people that make this country great,” said Change to Win chair Anna Burger. “From the members of the armed forces who have dedicated their lives to protecting our nation, to those who build our roads and bridges, teach our children, take care of the sick and elderly, transport our goods, process our food, and keep our nation running. Working families are excited to seize this moment and revive the American Dream. We are honored to take part in this truly historic tradition.”

The delegation of marchers will lead the only pro-worker float down the parade path under the theme of “Honoring America’s Workers.” The marchers will carry a banner with the slogan “America’s Workers: United for Change” along with flags that represent the issues most important to working families: an Economy that Works for All, Great Public Schools, Good Jobs Green Jobs, and Health Care for All.

“America’s working men and women are celebrating an historic new beginning today,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. “Our nation is built on the hard work of people just like those marching in today's parade—the nurses, teachers, firefighters, construction workers and others who are our nation's union members.  Let’s honor them and honor this great nation.”

The entire float was fabricated by union carpenters, welders, sculptors and painters. Constructed of steel, wood and foam, it will rise more than seventeen feet in height and span twenty-four feet in length. Outlines of the different “faces of labor” will surround the float to salute the backbone of our country—the hard working men and women that get up and go to work everyday. A Teamsters member will drive the truck supporting the float through the parade route.

“NEA and its members are proud to join AFL-CIO and Change to Win in this first-ever labor-sponsored inauguration parade float,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “The ‘America’s Workers United for Change’ parade unit, including the participation of 43 public school employees, provides organized labor the opportunity to emphasize the important role of America’s workers in helping to renew America’s promise.”

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