18A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 8, 1998
In midst of 1aor
Don't look down
DETROIT (AP) - Ten days into
their strike, Northwest Airlines pilots
took to Detroit's streets yesterday with
laid-ofl co-workers in a parade honoring
a holiday of note in this city known iCr!
its tervent unionism.
Onlookers lining a downtown street
didn't disappoint, cheering the passing
pilots and their families, as well as
Northwest machinists and flight atten-
dants laid-off by the walkouts.
Encouraged by the reception, the
pilots - some pushing children in
strollers --- returned the gesture, smiling
while flashing thumbs-up signs.
Welcome to I abor Day in a big labor
city, where simultaneous processions by
the 'Iamsters and United Auto Workers
converged on one downtown rally site.
In terms of safeguarding workers'
ights - often through costly strikes_
"ev'erybody in this town has been
hrough the same thing,' said Mark
ttirgill, a 20-year Northwest Pilot from
Jakland County's Commerce
Township. "This is a labor town, where
)eople have fought for years for things
hey believe in."
As Michiganians elsewhere flocked
o festivals or tired up backyard grills,
)etroit's parades were meant to rake a
tatemient: In the taee of dwindlling<
nion membership, organized labor
'l'his day gives anyone involved in
nionism a good Peling," Mitch Kuhn
aid while hawking campaign pins tout-
ig Gceofrey' Fieger, a I )emocratic
:ubernatorial candidate who took part
a the parades, then espoused himselfas
iae pro-labor alternative to Gov. John
Added Kuhn: "This is the one day we
an come out, celebrate and all commit
a the future."
And come out they did. In drowning
ut the traditional marching bands,
hamsters-backed truckers passed with
lares of air horns from dump trucks,
emient trucks and semi rigs, some tow-
.ig flatbed trailers bearing construction
Along the way, marchers many in
-,nstruction helmets --covered the
:mut ofunion ranks from postal work-
-s to pipefitters, restaurant workers to
' think we're here as protectors of
,i4higan lainilies, and people have to
recognize that organized labor is a key
part of that,' said onlooker Sheila
Strunk, a Mount Clemens social worker
and IUJnited Auto Workers member.
"In terms of Michigan's labor pres-
ence, Detroit is just the local point"
And a vocal one, evidenced lately by
the Northwest strike that has trans-
fOrmed the airline's terminal at Detroit
Metropolitan Airport -- a major
Northwest hub into a virtual ghost
Earlier this summer, strikes at two
G(eneral Motors Corp. plants virtually
halted the automaker's North American
production and cost Michigan's econo-
my an estimated Si billion in lost out-
In bidding for Engler's job. lieger
seized yesterday's parades as a chance to
champion himself as the working class'
candidate and to court the union vote.
"We need solidarity once, and tor-
ever," '1ieger, clad in blue jeans and a
blue blazer, told union types during a
post-parades rally. "We have to scream
it from every building, from every
mountain top, Irom every hill and dale."
Of listeners, he asked: )"Do you want
to reassert that Michinan is still the
strongest pro-labor sta e in the United
Detroit's serious holiday tone con-
trasted with lightness of observances
elsewhere in Michigan:
After lea diong thousands in the
annual walk across the Mackin.1e
Bridge linkini Michigan's northern
and lower peninsulas, Innler hustled
in a state plane to the Detroit enclave
of I lamtramck and its ILabor Day
® In Macomb County's Romeo com-
munity, things were peachy wlith its
yearly Peach festival, deaturiig pancake
break fasts, binno, arts-and-cra fts
booths, carnival rides and Vegas-style
,ames leading to a holiday parade and
classic car cruise.
* liIn Pontiac, Labor Day included the
first Arts, Ietits and Ats festivaIl, with
free music trom three stages, food sold
at 35 restaurant booths, and displays by
I In Detroit's I Iart Plaza, jazz fans
swooned to tunes of the Montreux
Detroit Jazz Festival, billed by organiiz-
ers as North America's largest free jazz
ROTC members Kevin Janicki and Jared Lampe repel down the Dentistry Building in the group's annual event.
Engler joins thousands for 41st
MACKINAW CITY (All) With his sleeping
triplets in tow, Gov. John E ingler began his hectic
Labor l)ay schedule by leading thousands of people in
the 4 ith annual Mackinac Bridge Walk.
I'nnler chose not to use the event to stump li6r his
reelection, only waving and smiling as admirers honked
their horns and crowded around him on the bridge.
"We're voting for you, man," shouted one carload.
Still, the walk wasn't without political significance.
Walking beside Fngler in a show of reconciliation was
Republican attorney neneral candidate John
Smletanka. Smietanka was nominated at last week's
Republican convention in a surprise upset of Ingler
lavorite Scott Romney.
"TIhe walk was lovely, just lovely," said Smietanka
as he reached the end of the five-mile span. lie woke
at 3 a.m. to participate in it and said it was the first
time he had walked the bridge. Sm ietanka planned to
0in Engler later yesterday lir a parade in 1llamitranick
and a peach testival in Romeo. Smietanka said he was
driving, while Engler took a state plane.
Engler, who was making his eighth walk as gover-
nor, strolled two of his triplet daughters while his wife,
Michelle, strolled the third. ihe girls, who turn 4 in
November, alternately slept and sucked on lollipops.
At the end of the walk, lEngler promised a crowd in
Mackinaw City that he would help them build a light-
house museum a relerence to the town's loss to
Staten Island, NY, in a bidding war for a national
"I'm still very committed to seeing the best. light-
house museurn built here, an international museum,"
I Engler said as he accepted a box full of fudge prom
Democrat ic gubernatorial candidate ieoffrey
Fieger skipped the bridge walk in favor of a Labor
Day union rally in Detroit.
Workers with the Mackinac Bridge Authority said
they were expecting 60,000 people for this year's
walk, a herd whose enthusiasm wasn't dampened by
mi d-mornin ,rain.
Well before sunrise, hurndreds of1 walkers from
grandparents to exchange students to Canadians
were lining up for bus rides to the north end of tk
bridge. Traffic closed on the bridge's right side as the
walkers made their way from north to south.
For Brian and Kate Robideau of Allen Parke the
walk has special significance. In 1996, it was t
first date. Last year, Brian proposed to Kate in ve
middle of the walk. They returned this year, a mont
after their August wedding.
"We'll always come. We love it," said Brian, wh1s
flowered hat and Mackinac Bridge Walk T sht
matched his wife's.
Also joining in this year's walk was Don Stevenso5
who trekked across the bridge as part of his walk acri4
America to raise money for Alzheimer's research. «
Stevenson left his home near Seattle on June 21
Walking about 36 miles a day, he plans to rej
Portland, Maine by Oct. 25.
"I heard about this and wanted to join in to help the
local Alzheimers chapter," he said. "I'm glai
I fl :1
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