Wages stagnate across the country. People struggle to save for retirement and they worry about rising medical and higher education costs. Women and minorities still make less for the same work as their white male counterparts. And workers here have fewer rights and protections than those in any other developed country.
Americans know what problems we’re facing, but we’re often steered away from real solutions by a very powerful few.
There aren’t many organizations that commit themselves to addressing all of these problems like we do through union work. Yet despite the challenges we face as a nation, our opponents continue to dismantle what’s left to fight for middle and working class people.
Today’s SCOTUS decision in the Janus vs. AFSCME case is nothing more than a shameful weaponization of the First Amendment. But
Losing my rights at work will not make me free.
Paying more for healthcare will not make me free.
And doing more work for less will not make me free….
Here in New York, our members know that a house divided cannot stand. We know that a divided union hurts all of us.
I know what teaching looks like in states that have already attacked union rights. Too many educators struggle to pay their bills or put food on the table. Crippling their unions has not freed them or empowered them, nor was it ever the goal.
Every one of us benefits from being in a union. We will NOT let that happen here.
Our unions have fought for working people for decades. Every – I repeat, EVERY – gain working people have made has come through our struggles. Today’s shameful decision was about politics, not workers’ rights. Its immediate goal is to sow division within our organizations, and to starve unions of resources we need to do our work. The desired effect is that we’re weakened as organizations so our contracts suffer and we lose power at the ballot box – the kind of organizing power that just saved your retirement.
The floodgates are open. In the coming weeks, people will be knocking on your doors, sending letters and emails, and calling you. When they’re friendlies, invite them in. Make sure they get the message: WE'RE STANDING WITH OUR UNION. When they’re strangers who pretend they’re helping you by trying to pull you out of your union, send them packing. Make sure they get the message: WE’RE STANDING WITH OUR UNION.
Today can be a day that weakens our ability to fight for our members at the bargaining table and at the polls, or it can be one that galvanizes our collective value – our appreciation for what we have – our commitment to each other and to the Unions that work hard for us EVERY SINGLE DAY.
NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND STRONG.
NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND UNITED.
The HHHTA Executive Board
Richard, Heather, Mike, Debra, Sarah, Lori, Marianne, Suzann and Matt
PS: Get your voice out. Show your commitment. Watch for posts of SOLIDARITY on social media and SPREAD THE WORD!