LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Labor Day is a time when our country pays tribute to the nation's labor force. This holiday, many Louisville union workers spent the day with the animals as they have for 17 years running.
Every union in Louisville was represented, from United Auto Workers to the Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters.
"It's their day to celebrate," President of the United Labor Day Picnic Charles Clephas said.
For some 15,000 Louisville area union workers Monday was a day off and a day to remember. Union members pool their money every year to set up a fun day for their families.
Clephas said, "They get lunch, they get to go through the zoo, they've got rides for the kids and it's just kind of a reward for them for all year for working."
The ticket to the annual picnic also includes a classic car show with more than 200 vintage beauties showing off and competing for prizes. The penguins and turtles are just icing on the top.
Josh Jarboe, the son-in-law of a union worker, said, "We don't get a lot of free time, but when we do we like to get together and enjoy it and them renting the zoo out here today was a perfect opportunity for that."
Besides diving into a delicious picnic and all the fun sides that come with it, members also hope the day brings attention to who they are and every worker out there who may not have the kind of health insurance plans and other benefits they do.
"The politicians and the judges all come through say hi, and you know we just want to represent what we are," Local 369 Business Manager Charlie Essex said, "we're good people, we work hard, we deserve a day off, we expect a decent wage for a hard day of work and that's what it's all about."