Posted at: 09/03/2012 3:59 PM
| Updated at: 09/03/2012 6:21 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
COLONIE - Herb Hyde worked for Ford Motor Company for over 20 years before they closed the Green Island plant in 1989.
Now retired, he remains a labor activist, working on a coupon card to get out the message he sees about talk of medicare changes.
"They're trying to play me against my children," Hyde said. "I have two grown daughters who have been working for 20 years themselves. They've been paying in to this system for 20-25 years and what they're saying to them is when you reach medicare age, you're on your own, basically."
The annual Labor Day Picnic sponsored by the Solidarity Committee of the Capital District has always combined socializing with a healthy portion of worker rights discussions, social and economic equality.
There are booths set up where materials are given out and ideas exchanged.
This year's theme is raising the minimum wage.
"Seven and a quarter is not very much money and people who try to live on that can't make it," said Solidarity Committee Chairman John Funiciello.
There's a certain political component to these annual picnics. It's not a political rally, although you will see some candidates who share the progressive ideology of the Solidarity Committee.
With private sector union membership dwindling and public sector unions battling, maintaining ties to elected officials friendly to labor interests is seen as essential.