WICHITA, Kansas – – The annual Wichita-Hutchinson Labor Federation picnic held at the Machinist Union Saturday brought hundreds of union workers from across Kansas together.
The event was geared toward celebrating the men and women of the labor force.
However, some of those who turned out voiced their frustrations over the current state of unions.
Pat Lehman is a retired machinist and feels things are at the worst when talking about unions in Kansas.
“The state of labor here in Kansas is about as bad as the elected politicians can make it,” said Lehman.
Others, like David Robertson, an employee of Boeing until earlier this month says the change needs to come from the capitol.
“What the labor needs in the capitol is someone we can knock on there door and we’re invited in,” said Robertson.
The Wichita-Hutchinson Labor Federation represents 30,000 union workers and their families across South Central Kansas.
Bill Rogers, the Vice President of the Wichita-Hutchinson Labor Federation says the working people feel they are being undervalued and underpaid.
“We think working people in general been getting a short draw from the state of Kansas in the last four years, there wages seem to have stagnated and even gone down,” said Rogers.
With several aviation companies laying off and the ongoing issue with due process for Kansas teachers, Rogers is hopeful change will come in the upcoming elections.
“We want to see candidates that support working families and support education and support fair opportunity in the state of Kansas,” said Rogers.
Kansas House Minority Leader and candidate for Governor Paul Davis was a guest speaker for the event.
He was joined by Secretary of State candidate Jean Schodorf and Insurance Commissioner candidate Dennis Anderson.