Monday, September 5, 2022
Happy Labor Day, Sisters and Brothers—this weekend is your time to celebrate the American Labor Movement!
What a year this has been. We have seen a resurgence in our movement, an awakening of the union spirit in workers nationwide, from Buffalo to Alabama and Seattle to Georgia!
After over two years of this pandemic, two years of disruption at home and at work, family and friends are finally starting to come together again. Workers are talking to each other face to face about their issues, both on the job and at home. They are tired of being taken for granted and have decided it’s time they come together to do something about it.
This pandemic has made both workers and the public realize the sacrifices essential workers make every day, and particularly over the past two years. Unfortunately, we have not seen continued appreciation from employers for those sacrifices. It’s almost as if the pandemic never happened.
Workers are now standing up and banding together to support each other when companies don’t support them. We have seen it in the Starbucks Workers United union campaign, the REI organizing campaign that is spreading across the country and we continue to see it where it all began in Bessemer, Alabama. Workers at Amazon continue the fight for dignity and respect on the job.
The fight to unionize is front and center on Long Island farms. Farmworkers are beginning to stand up and demand fair treatment and fair wages. Their employers continue to look for ways to delay, in an attempt to interfere with workers’ rights to join a union. Long Island employers are engaged strategically in an effort to undercut this worker lead organizing movement. How many of you reading this get overtime after 40 hours? Did you know that in New York State, farmworkers must work 60 hours before they begin to accrue overtime?
All of us in the labor movement fight every day for the rights of all workers to be treated with dignity and respect, to be able to work safely, and to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
On this Labor Day, take a moment during your union-provided holiday to remember those who struggle for the rights you enjoy every day without fear of retribution or retaliation. They deserve the same rights as you. I encourage you to join us in our fight for workers’ rights. United we can win, divided we lose. Solidarity forever is not just a slogan, but a lifestyle.
Once again, I wish my union family a happy Labor Day. I hope you enjoy your holiday and in the week ahead decide to join the movement. Stand up for those in need. Speak out against oppression of workers. Help us fight for the rights of all workers, and if you are a union member, make sure to stay active within your union. You are what makes the union strong!