One day wasn’t enough for all the activities planned by union members in Michigan. The state AFL-CIO has proclaimed “Labor Week” Sept. 5-12. A whirlwind of a family, faith-based, historical and solidarity events are in the works.

Labor Week follows right on the heels of what the Michigan AFL-CIO is calling the largest precinct-walking mobilization Michigan labor has ever organized. On Sept. 2, as George Bush was speaking to the Republican convention in New York, more than 1,000 union members in 15 Michigan cities joined the AFL-CIO nationwide effort to talk worker-to-worker to union households about election issues. Jobs heads the list of concerns expressed by the voters visited, one organizer told the World, with health care and Social Security following closely.

Labor Week activities will begin with union members attending and taking the pulpit in churches across the state on Sunday, Sept. 5, according to the Michigan AFL-CIO website.

Labor Day will see parades in Muskegon, Marquette, Grand Rapids and Detroit and a walk across the Mackinac Bridge led by the Ironworkers. On Tuesday, union families will be attending a Tigers Game in Comerica Park.

A rally in support of technicians at Ford dealerships will take place Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. at Michigan Ave. and Southfield Freeway. The technicians are organizing with the Machinists union.

Thursday will focus on labor history presentations at Michigan schools as well as radio and TV programming across the state. Friday features Labor Jam, a free concert. On Saturday, a prayer breakfast at the Central Methodist Church will honor unions who lost members and helped victims in the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy.

The week will wrap up with LaborFest, where tens of thousands are expected to gather in what organizers call “the world’s largest indoor labor picnic to celebrate our heritage show our strength and protect our future” at Ford Field in Detroit.

The author can be reached at rwood@pww.org.

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