Permian Basin Citizens Celebrate Labor Day

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

Since 1893, Texans have enjoyed a break, the first Monday in September, honoring hard-working men and women.

And on Monday, the Permian Basin Central Labor Union did just that. 

Fourteen different organizations gathered for food, games, and a look back at why we celebrate this day.

"The labor day is to honor the people who work for us," Ector County Democratic Chair Bobbie Duncan, said. "The people who are out in the work force, who have given their lives to provide things for everybody else with their work."

Since 1957, D.L. Willis has organzied this Labor Day celebration.

"The celebration's purpose is to honor the American worker, in particular, the workers in the Permian Basin and the contributions they make to the communities in this area," D.L. Willis, President of the Permian Basin Central Labor Union, said.

"I have seen a lot of changes over the years, hopefully for the best," Willis said. "I hope we grow and we bring more jobs into this area."

Families from all over West Texas came together at Odessa's Slater Community Center to hear from some area leaders.

"We're going to have games for the kids, we're going to have speakers," Willis said. "We're going to have food, and everybody I hope is going to enjoy it."

Speakers used this opportunity to discuss the presidential race and many issues related to the current work force.

"Labor Day is important to me, because it's the one time in the year where the public has the chance to understand and know the goals of working people in this country," Willis said. "And they have the chance to honor American workers and the workers in the Permian Basin, and that's important to me."

Bobbie Duncan has lived and worked in West Texas for 50 years, and wants people to know the importance of the Labor Union.

"They're not professionals, they believe in their jobs, they're good family people," Duncan said. "They're organized so that they can get better benefits for themselves and their families and get better wages."

"It's a honor to be here with them because they are the backbone of our community," Duncan said.

And hopeing events like this one will make a difference.

"This event means that labor all over the Nation is being recognized at last for what it does," she said. "It's the backbone of our Nation."