Reclaiming Labor Day

Despite attacks by corporations and self-interested politicians, union power is continuing to raise pay and amplifying working people’s voice on the job and in their communities.

Marching in downtown Oakland, adjunct professor and Dominican University member leader Robin McClosky proclaimed, “We’re here because of the men and women who made heroic sacrifices so that we can enjoy the rights we have today. Unions are facing steep challenges, and it’s up to us to make sure that those sacrifices weren’t for nothing.”

Yeon Park, an Alameda County Mental Health Specialist and SEIU 1021 Regional Representative said, “America needs unions because working families need affordable housing, decent wages, healthcare and the power to stand up to the 1% who are trying to take away our rights to a decent life,”

Striking fast food workers in Oakland testified to the power of standing up together. Guadalupe Salazar spoke before a crowd of more than a thousand about how by uniting under the Fight for 15M, she and her McDonald’s coworkers were able to win back stolen wages and help raise the minimum wage. Now Guadalupe and her coworkers are fighting for McDonald’s to recognize their right to form a union.

City of Oakland workers also testified of how they’re not only bargaining a fair contract for union members but for all families who rely on public services. “As a union member, I know that when working people stand together and fight for justice, we can win.  So let’s make Oakland work for everyone, not just corporations and developers,” said Felipe Cuevas, a City of Oakland Heavy Equipment Mechanic and Chapter President.

Working people do better when we stick together. Together we will rise and stand up against anything that holds us back.

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