There will be something lacking in the Labor Day parade here today: namely, labor.
Unions -- traditionally a force at Democratic National Conventions -- are largely skipping the quadrennial festivities here this week. That means they aren't here to participate in today's Labor Day Parade, either.
Many of Charlotte's local unions are still marching, but their ranks won't be fleshed out by brethren from across the country, who typically converge on Democratic convention cities to volunteer, rally and host policy briefings.
Labor leaders are angry that the party chose to have its convention in a right-to-work state and in a city they say has too few unionized workers.
"Unions are all about solidarity," said Phil Smith, spokesman for United Mine Workers of America.
"There are plenty of other places this convention could have been held where union members would have been involved from start to finish in the preparation, the planning, the work, the set-up, the operation, the tear down and every aspect of dealing with this convention."
The AFL-CIO is bowing out, too. "We won't be buying skyboxes, hosting events other than the labor delegates meeting or bringing a big staff to the convention," union president Richard Trumka, a Pittsburgh native, wrote last month in a letter to his union's local leaders.