GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Some workers affiliated with labor unions in Grand Rapids rallied for labor rights on Saturday.
It was part of a global movement for International Workers’ Day, which is May 1.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 26, West Michigan Stagehands Union hosted the rally for the third year.
“We are part of the Kent-Ionia Labor Council, so we advocate for workers rights, good contracts, better healthcare, for pensions. We’re out here because we just won the right to representation in the workplace again,” Tom Burke said.
The group that gathered at Ah-Nab-Awen Park near the “Spirit of Solidarity” monument said they want all people to have the same equal rights.
They demanded better laws to protect workers, driver’s licenses for immigrants, raises for Grand Valley State University students and more film jobs to return to the state.
“We want them to see the many voices from different parts of the community coming together in an effort to create a better work environment and a better life environment. Overall, the numbers need to come together to make an impact,” said Stan Sacha with the International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees.
More than 10 people spoke, including Patrick Lyoya’s father, Peter Lyoya. He talked about the murder case against former Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr, who shot and killed Patrick Lyoya on April 4, 2022. In February, the trial was rescheduled for October after being previously scheduled for March 13.