Celebrating Wisconsin's workers (copy)

Portraying cultural icon Rosie the Riveter, Lisa Van Buskirk of Madison Fire Local 311 joins union supporters in a song of solidarity during LaborFest 2016 at the Madison Labor Temple in Madison.

Here we are celebrating yet another Labor Day to honor America's working men and women and all they've contributed to this great nation with their labors.

And here we are at yet another Labor Day in Wisconsin where our minimum wage remains one of the lowest in the country — $7.25 an hour, certainly nothing to celebrate. Only Georgia and Wyoming have minimums below ours and now more than 30 other states have decided that the rate is too low.

It's ironic that here we are on Labor Day where, while state legislators and the governor can't bring themselves to give a boost to the lowest paid among us, they are about to OK nearly $3 billion in assistance to a huge corporate conglomerate with a history of awful labor relations.

The hypocrisy, especially in the face of legislators giving themselves a boost in their per diem benefits because the cost of eating and sleeping keeps rising, is incredible.

The Walker administration and its amen corner in the Legislature are content with keeping a $7.25 minimum wage while almost the entire rest of the country is moving toward $12 and $15.

Happy Labor Day Badgers.

Meanwhile, while state government does its best to dismantle and hinder unions, the South Central Federation of Labor is holding its annual celebration of the day from noon to 5:30 today at the Labor Temple at 1602 S. Park St.

The annual event draws thousands to hobnob, share stories, drink a little beer, eat brats and hot dogs and listen to entertainment from local bands. This year, Natty Nation and Chris Plata with Extra Hot will perform. There's a magic show, bouncy house, face painting and other activities to please the kids. 

The federation is asking folks who attend the free event to bring along toiletries, laundry detergent, and food gift cards to contribute to the Madison School District's transition education program.

It's a fun day, as it should be — despite the hostile politicians now in charge of the state.  

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel

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