Promoting Labor Day Solidarity

Labor Day is that special day of the year when we celebrate the victories of the labor movement by enjoying a day of relaxation, before jumping back into the fray of fighting to protect the rights and benefits of working people. In recognition of this auspicious day we hear from Chris Erikson, the Business Manager for IBEW Local 3 and Grand Marshall for this years’ NYC Labor Day parade, being held on September 6th. Chris urges workers to join and become active in the labor movement or lose what they have. Chris is joined by Peter Meringolo, Chair of the Public Employee Conference and Richard Mulvaney, a noted labor attorney. They urge unions to support one another to keep the labor movement strong. Next we hear from Assemblyman Peter Abbate, a ling-time champion for Government Employees, for an update on public employee issues and a discussion of the Triborough Amendment, a labor provision under attack by some government officials

Labor Day Solidarity

Labor Day Parade PosterThe weekend, 40 hour work week, paid holidays, medical insurance,  promotion of equality and on the job training, health and safety regulations and apprenticeship programs are just some of the benefits that have been fought for by unions. Labor Day is a chance for all working people, union and non-union, to celebrate these achievements by spending time with friends and family. In recognition of Labor Day, the NYC Central Labor Council has once again arranged the world’s largest Labor Day Parade. On September 6th, (in keeping with the tradition of marching the week after Labor Day so as not to deprive working people and their families of their special day of rest and recreation).

Labor Day is a chance for all working people, union and non-union, to celebrate labor victories and good jobs (Tweet this)

The parade is a unique opportunity for workers from all walks of life to show their solidarity. Leading this year’s parade is Grand Marshall and long-time friend of our show, Chris Erikson, Business Manager for IBEW local 3. Erikson joined us to give us his perspective on the Labor Day Parade, and why, as the grandson of Harry Van Arsdale,  it is such an honor for him to be named Grand Marshall.  Peter Meringolo, Chair of the Public Employee Conference (PEC), and Richard Mulvaney, labor attorney and former police officer, joined Erikson to discuss recent conflicts between public and private union who opposed legislation that would have helped public sector union members in dealing with disciplinary matters.  Meringolo urged union leaders to pick up the phone before opposing another union’s legislation when it doesn’t affect them or their members. Public and private sector unions need to better collaborate to address worker concerns, similar to the way IBEW Local 3 and public sector unions do, through organizations such as PEC,  rather than getting caught up in unnecessary controversies.

Championing Workers in the Assembly

Assemblyman Pete AbbateBrooklyn Assemblyman Peter Abbate is a champion for government employees throughout New York State. We learn about his career in the State Assembly, and how and why he became a champion for our citizens in the public sector. Assemblyman Abbate discusses the Tribrough Amendment to the Taylor Law, and explains why  it is not only fair, but necessary to protect public employees.He takes great issue with some of his colleagues who are campaigning to water down the Triborough Amendment. While they might feel this provision, which permits a prior contract to remain in effect until a new one is negotiated, encourages labor leaders to sit on their heels so they don’t have to negotiate give backs, experience, especially during the Bloomberg Administration in NYC, has shown that more often it is the municipality that refuses to come to the negotiating table. He explains why this is so.

It is not only fair, but necessary to protect public employees and the Tribough Amendment Tweet this

Similar Articles

1) Labor Day Parade information: Check out the NYC CLC Labor Parade event page

2) Healthcare Update – Labor Rights are Civil Rights – Union Womens’ Summer School: Relationship between Labor and civil rights shows the importance of solidarity between movements

3) Telling the Labor Story: Building labor solidarity through film

You can subscribe to Labor-Lines on I-Tunes / Stitcher or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@LaborLines)

Labor-Lines can be heard Saturday at 1:00 pm in NYC on AM-970 “The Answer” — 6:30 pm in Nassau County on AM -1240 WGBB — Sunday at 7:00 am in Suffolk County on WJVC 96.1 FM “My Country” – and at 8:00 am in Suffolk