ORLANDO, Fla. – Labor unions held a Labor Day Rally at Lake Eola Park Monday. This comes as some question whether labor unions are becoming obsolete.
Working men and women celebrated in downtown Orlando Monday. Some, like Vanessa Ferraria, are using the holiday as an avenue to voice their concerns about working conditions.
Ferraria said, "Everybody is miserable, everybody's silent, everybody's quiet, you know, they're afraid."
She is talking about her old job, a large retail giant. So Ferraria has turned to labor unions who are helping to give her a voice. However, with new technology and new laws, have unions been able to maintain their voices?
Central Florida AFL-CIO president, Eric Clinton, said, "Our union has grown over the last decade. That's contrary to what most labor unions are doing, unfortunately."
Clinton said they have been focusing on certain industries and one of those is hospitality.
"As central Floridians, we've got to come to grips with the reality that our economy is based on tourism and our economy will struggle if our tourism workers make little money," said Clinton. A Pew Research Center report says they do.
More than half of those making minimum wage are in the hospitality industry, grim news for an area driven by tourism.
Ferraria said, "All the working people, the working class, better stand up, because if they don't, where are we going to be?"
Labor leaders say now the big focus is immigration reform, something they say can help everyone in the workforce, especially in the Orlando area.