Flint sees lack of Labor Day celebrations

As the traditional walking across the covered bridge in Frankenmuth continues it's an eerie silence in Flint, the birthplace of the United Autoworkers Union.

â??It's a strange day in Flint to not have those events. They've been here so longâ??The Crossroads picnic and the Region 1C event,â?? says Paul Rozycki, a political science professor at Mott Community College.

Rozycki says the lack of Labor Day events in The Vehicle City shows unions struggling for membership.

â??They are not what they were,â?? says Rozycki. They've lost two-thirds of their membership."

But local union leader Dan Reyes says unions still needed.

â??The battles that were fought in the 1930's are being fought all over again, in a totally different generation,â?? says Reyes.

Rozycki says those battles will be tougher with a dwindling membership.

â??In the last 20 years, they've gone from a million and a half members to I think somewhere around 300,000 or 400,000 now,â?? says Rozycki.

Reyes says those numbers not sticking around for long.

â??I think you're going to see the labor movement strengthen over the next 20 years, we're going to gain ground all over again,â?? says Reyes.

That anticipated resurgence is something both sides agree on.

â??Even with right to work, they'll be a bounce back. I don't think they'll get back to the levels they were in the 1970's,â?? says Rozycki.