Labor Day parade has people talking politics

By Joe Bennett

September 3, 2012 Updated Sep 3, 2012 at 7:06 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill -- Employers, laborers and politicians can agree the current employment conditions in Illinois stem back to the recession of 2008.

What they don't agree on is how to move forward in order to lower the state's unemployment rate and create jobs for the working class.

Those marching in the 2012 McLean County Labor Day Parade held signs and flags up high with a clear message, "Bring Jobs Home."

Director of the Illinois Department of Labor, Joe Costigan, says without the working class, there would be no wages to support government.

"It's important that we're working all the time to try and create more jobs in Illinois," says Costigan. "It's been a tough economy since 2008, but we're coming back."

State Senator Bill Brady, a Republican from the 44th District, sees it another way.

"Let businesses do what they do well, which is invest capital to put people to work," Brady says. "Illinois struggles with one of the highest unemployment rates of any state in the nation, because we haven't freed the system up and that's what we're all about."

Senator Brady wants government to take the back seat and put the private sector at the wheel.

However AFSCME Local 31 representative Renee Nestler says many at this parade are in miserable conditions through no fault of their own.

"We have statewide contract issues that are affecting our state workers as well as in other bargaining units, they're still looking for concessions and take backs, because of the current economic condition," Nestler says.

Some treated the parade more like a rally, literally making their voices heard during an important election year for the state and country.

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