As Americans across the country prepare to celebrate Labor Day, often with parades and barbecues, as the unofficial end of summer, we know the real significance of Labor Day. Labor Day honors the labor movement for improving the lives of hardworking Americans, families and communities.
Without the labor movement, Americans wouldn’t have weekends, let alone long weekends, to spend time with loved ones.
Without the labor movement, Americans wouldn’t have paid sick leave, employer-sponsored health benefits, or the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Without the labor movement, Americans wouldn’t have workers’ compensation, pensions and social security.
Without the labor movement, Americans wouldn’t have overtime pay, paid vacation and workplace safety standards.
Now these hard-won rights that labor unions have fought so hard for are being threatened. CSEA is ready for this fight and these threats have made us even stronger.
Anti-union groups funded by wealthy CEOs like the Koch Brothers want to destroy unions and silence the voice of working people. It’s not going to happen. Already, their schemes and harassing emails to union members have backfired. Our members are angry that corporate-funded puppets are urging them to quit our union, and won’t be fooled into giving up their rights and protections to save a few bucks.
Public employees have always had the choice whether to join a union, and every day, our members show us that they are sticking with our union. When working people stand together, we have a powerful voice on the job to increase wages, improve benefits and provide safe working conditions. Unions have always been, and continue to be, the path for working people to achieve the American dream. The labor movement has helped thousands of workers get out of poverty, created the middle class, and continues to boost our economy.
A strong union can protect your wages, health benefits, workplace protections and pension. The key to staying strong is for all of us to stay union. In this edition, we highlight several locals and units that are keeping us strong by getting 100 percent of their represented workers to be union members. They know it’s better to be union and are great examples of the solidarity we all need to show.
As a last note, I want to acknowledge the recent passing of Western Region President Flo Tripi, who was a passionate, powerful force in the labor movement. Flo used her voice to make life better for all New Yorkers and we profoundly miss her.
The best way to honor Flo’s memory? Do what she did for 50 years — fight like hell for dignity and respect for all union members.
Stay union, stay strong!