YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — It’s been called the summer of strikes, and as Labor Day nears, those in and from Youngstown who are currently on strike reflect on the meaning of the holiday and what it means to them.
As negotiations continue for the Youngstown Education Association, spokesperson Jim Courim reflected on being on strike in a city with a long history of unionized labor.
“There are a lot of things that we have in terms of working conditions all over that that you can point back to where unions have fought for those things,” Courim said.
He said many in the union never expected to be on strike — or to be on strike for this long –but as their negotiations continue, Courim said he is appreciative of the work everyone did before him.
“In any labor dispute, you want to make it better for the people that come after you, and that’s what I reflect on on this Labor Day,” Courim said.
Sherry Richards is a SAG-AFTRA actor originally from Youngstown. Known for her work on “Atlanta” and “The Underground Railroad,” the part-time actor has been on strike since July with the rest of her union.
“I’m a proud union member. You know, my dad was a union member. He worked for the steel mills,” Richards said. “It makes me feel that much more proud of that the union was important to him, and it’s important to me as well.”
She hopes that as people relax with movies or television over Labor Day, they consider the actors and writers on strike who made the content possible.
“Let’s get us all back to work so that we can continue to bring some good programming to everybody, you know, because that’s what we’re about,” Richards said.