Labor Day 2011
A special IBEW Local 1049 Labor Day Message: Labor Day this year has so much meaning, to so many of us. Within a year, we read papers attacking teachers and other public sector workers. Some states like Wisconsin, Ohio and New Jersey tried to take away public employees right to bargain collectively, so we rallied around that and wore "We Are One" stickers and some of us even hit the streets to show our support. As organized labor we applauded the TSA for organizing their union, and felt sadness for the Target workers in Valley Stream when they couldn't organize. We passed the Move Over and Call Center Bills to protect jobs and increase workplace safety in Albany and passed Article Ten, to create more green energy jobs and support energy creation. But we lost on the new Nassau Coliseum as we still fight to create more jobs for the unemployed. As Local 1049 members we negotiated a contract, and held a democratic elections within our own union. We have had a lot of ups and downs, but we had a pretty damn good year and did many good charitable events. As Americans we got Osama, but we lost hundreds of 9-11 response workers as a result of workplace occupational illness. But we launched PBS Film 9/11: An American Requiem as we honor and continue to fight for all the 9-11 workers with tens of thousands of union firefighters from across the country marching with us on September 10th - in what is expected to be one of the largest NYC Labor Day Parades in decades. We also witnessed, participated and shared in the anxiety at one of the largest private sector strikes in recent history, as 50,000 communications workers went on strike to hold the line on the middle class. The fight continues, but the message was sent that union members and working families have had enough, and anyone who works for a living deserves a fair wage for an honest day of work. Its been a long tough year, but aren't we even more proud to be union this Labor Day Weekend? Labor Day and the theory and concept of a weekend is an idea that took organized labor decades to achieve and our movement has fought and died for hundreds of years to attain anything we have. Some take it for granted, but we know that our very existence provides hope to the millions who want what we have. So God Bless our union, on this Labor Day Weekend, have a chat with someone who is not in a union. It is our duty to remind them of Labor Day's true meaning.