NYC Labor Day Parade Canceled

This year's Labor Day parade has been cancelled, according to The Chief.

The head of the Central Labor Council, Ed Ott, is quoted as saying the group felt it best "to remain focused on our organizational priorities and review the various observances of our Labor Day events as we consider how to march forward in the best way possible for workers."

The group did hold a parade last year, immediately after Ott's predecessor, Asssemblyman Brian McLaughlin, was indicted for misusing public money and steering contracts to allies.

"This shows there is new leadership," NYS AFL-CIO head Mario Cilento just told me. He denies McLaughlin's scandal had anything to to with this year's decision. He said around the time this year's parade would have been held, the group will instead honor labor workers by focusing on the health care needs of World Trade Center heroes and relevant legislation in Congress. That'll taje place on September 8th (more info on that after the jump, along with Ed Ott's statement).

Although it's not unprecedented for the parade to be canceled, it's the first so far to be done strictly for the sake of a legislative priority.

The parade was cancelled in 2001 because of the terrorists attacks, and in 2004 because the Republican National Convention was held in the City and, as Cilento said, "labor was squarely behind the Democratic candidate." But Cilento did say the parade was held more frequently in previous years.

The Labor Day parade is a proud tradition in our labor movement, and each year we review and consider the various options of how to best celebrate and honor all working people. This Labor Day, as we remember the contributions of working people, the heroes of 9/11, and those who so honorably protect our freedom and security here and abroad, we join together at a rally on September 8th at the World Trade Center site to address the chronic health impacts, ongoing monitoring, medical treatment and worker’s compensation for first responders and other workers suffering from the long-term effects of 9/11. As always, our Labor Day mass will be conducted at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday, September 9th at 10:15 a.m. and we encourage all unions to bring their banners for the 9:45 a.m. processional.