Honoring Historic Labor Leader In Scranton

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SCRANTON -- For many, Labor Day means end-of-summer cookouts and get-togethers with family and friends but in Scranton on Monday, a ceremony was held celebrating a local leader for workers' rights.

Scranton Central Labor Council placed a wreath at the statue of John Mitchell on Courthouse Square.

Mitchell was a defender of labor rights and the president of the United Mine Workers union from 1898 to 1908.

He also participated in negotiations with mining companies in our area including one that resulted in an eight-hour work day and minimum wage for coal miners.

"His big claim here was the strike of 1902 where he actually had President Roosevelt in Scranton to help mediate the strike, get the miners back to work and get the families to be together again," said Bill Cockerill, Scranton Central Labor Council.

About 7,000 people belong to the Scranton Central labor CouncilĀ  which represents 40 unions in Lackawanna, Wayne and Susquehanna Counties.