Labor Day celebrates a year of work as leaders look to fill open positions

TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - Labor Day is usually accompanied by a day off and parades but it's a day about much more than that. It's about workers and celebrating all that they've done.

We’re taking a closer look at unions and their workforce and the challenges they face.

To celebrate on Monday lots of union workers attended Labor Fest at the Lucas County Fairgrounds.

"It's nice to celebrate in solidarity and that's what it's all about," said Chris Monaghan, Labor Fest president.

Around 32 unions celebrated at Labor Fest, an event celebrating its 4th year as union workers celebrate a bit of a boost. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio has around 617,000 union workers in 2016 up from 2015.

"The history of union is in Toledo. It's everything," said Scott Lopez with UA local 50.

Lopez says one of the biggest issues right now is too many open positions and not enough people to fill them.

"Everybody is building something so they need qualified individuals and we want to make sure we give them the highest quality and safest productivity we can have," said Lopez.

"It's better with the companies nowadays. You talk, there's much more talking and getting along," said Chuck Collins with Teamsters local 20.

Collins says these relationships turn into a benefit for everyone.

"We're part of this community. We're little league coaches. We're deacons. We go to the same churches. We belong to the same community and we want to show that," said Lopez.