Some four hundred ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 members and family are estimated to have attended the 1st Annual Anchorage Summer Solidarity Picnic held July 31. The multi-union gathering attracted between 4,000 and 6,000 attendees to the Anchorage park strip.
The Anchorage Summer Solidarity Picnic was a success by all accounts, and is intended to become an annual celebration of unionism in Alaska. "We plan on doing this next year," said ASEA Anchorage Chapter President Wyatt Wheeler. "We’ll be able to contribute more and plan better without having to worry about ratification elections and strike authorization votes," he said.
ASEA members provided logistical support for the Summer Solidarity Picnic, but the event was made possible through the contribution of many labor organizations, including IBEW Local 1547, Teamsters Local 959, Carpenters Local 1281, APEA/AFT, American Postal Workers Union Local 2756, Piledrivers Local 2520, HERE Local 878, Firefighters Local 1264, Plumbers Local 367, and the Mat-Su Education Association.
The Anchorage Chapter sponsored an ice cream truck during the event, but had tried unsuccessfully to add further to the attractions. "The pony rides were cancelled because the municipality determined the parking area was too small, and the dunk tank was rented out from under us," said Wheeler.
Among the many standouts at the solidarity picnic was U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Tony Knowles. Pictured from left to right are ASEA Anchorage Chapter President Wyatt Wheeler, former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles, ASEA State Executive Board President Gordon Glaser, and ASEA State Executive Board Secretary Michael Williams.
ASEA members who contributed to planning the picnic include Wheeler, Gloria Eggleton, Roberta Jassal, and ASEA staffer Maryann Ganacias Schuneman.