A message from Central Region President Ken Greenleaf
A message from Central Region 5 President Kenny Greenleaf
“Let’s Stick Together”
“If I can lead us to victory over Amazon, what’s stopping anyone from organizing their workplace? Nothing.” – Chris Smalls, Amazon Labor Union President.
Chris Smalls just ran a successful campaign to organize Amazon workers, an amazing victory in the labor world. He reminds us that the heroes among us in labor didn’t start out as household names or have large followings with tons of support. They started out like all of us – decent, hardworking people trying to do their jobs and make our lives a little better.
It wasn’t long ago that the Supreme Court tried to weaken labor unions throughout the country when it issued the Janus decision and forced voluntary unionism. We continue to see groups step up their efforts to convince members to leave. The victories at Amazon and Starbucks across the country show that on a national level, America recognizes the need for labor unions more than it ever has. Here in New York State, we’re much stronger, but we still need to be diligent in our efforts to grow and retain members.
We can only gain strength as a collective. These anti-union groups know what we also know – the more of our members they can bleed away, the weaker we become. Make no mistake about it – management sees the membership numbers and they know when non-membership numbers increase, they have an opening to drive a wedge between us. That means more than ever before, every single member matters.
That’s why it’s so important for all of us to realize how essential membership in CSEA is to protect our strength as a union. We may not always agree on the path forward, but whatever path we take, we must take it together.
As I reflect on what Smalls said about organizing workplaces, I realize that while he was talking about forming new unions, it also applies to growing our union from within. We need to have conversations with our non-member coworkers and urge them, as much for their own benefit as ours, that it’s in their best interest to be a part of this great union.
If we continue to stand together, we will continue to be strong enough to fend off the attacks on labor that keep coming.
I am proud to be a member of CSEA. I’m proud to be a leader in such a strong labor organization. But I’m just one person, and it will take every one of us to keep our union strong.
Kenny Greenleaf, President
CSEA Central Region 5
Region 5 Officers Email Contacts:
Executive VP Chantalise DeMarco … email@example.com
1st VP Betty Jo Johnson … firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd VP Tim Backus … email@example.com
3rd VP Catrina Leone … firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary Michelle Martin … email@example.com
Treasurer Amy Simmons … firstname.lastname@example.org