Monday, September 12, 2022
A message from President John Durso
This summer we held the Long Island Federation of Labor’s 22nd Constitution Convention. We elected the officers and executive board of the federation; considered resolutions charting the course of our labor movement; and welcomed guest speakers including, Kathy Hochul, Governor of the State of New York as well as Mario Cilento, President of the NYS AFL-CIO.
We celebrated farmworker organizing, the union election victories for thousands of Starbucks partners, and the growth of the union movement through new and emerging industries in New York State. We reflected on school board election victories that deliver for our communities and lift up leaders who trust our educators to deliver quality education for our children and grandchildren. Our brothers and sisters in the utility sector, the Building Trades Council, and across our Federation have continued to win support for a new energy future that addresses global warming head on, and takes into account the challenges it presents to the workforce. We doubled down on our commitment to advancing those priorities in a way that accounts for the needs of working families and how policy decisions directly affect their ability to put food on their tables.
Long Island’s workforce is also becoming more diverse than ever before. According to the most recent Census data, Long Island’s Asian, Latino, and Black populations are growing. Additionally, women currently make up 47% of the workforce. The fight for racial justice and gender equity is more critical than ever. We know that a collective bargaining agreement and union protections are the most effective way to protect workers from discrimination. However, a union card is just one tool to combat these injustices. We must be deliberate and thoughtful with all policy considerations to ensure all workers’ rights are enshrined with the protection of law.
In the short time since our convention, there have been a string of union victories across this nation, in our state, and on Long Island. If this wasn't evidence enough that the union movement is on the rise, a new Gallup poll came out last week showing union support among Americans at 71%. Americans’ support for unions is at a 57-year high, and we know it cuts across the political spectrum. Our mission is not a partisan one. We fight for good wages, benefits, dignity, and respect for all working families. It is clear to the vast majority that the true path to prosperity is through a strong union movement.