Joe Battista, A Steward from DEC PEF made the following youtube Slideshow, the clip includes "Which Side Are You On?" sung by Pete Seeger and Jerry Ebert from Teamsters Local 445. Joe took the shots from the roof of the NYSNA van that was in the parking lot of the Teamsters Hall. Thank you Joe!
ROCK TAVERN — An estimated 850 Hudson Valley union members vowed Thursday to stand beside their fellow workers in Wisconsin and anywhere else the right to collective bargaining is challenged.
"An injury to one is an injury to all," proclaimed Lucille Sollazzo of the New York State Nurses Association, one of more than a dozen speakers at the rally outside Teamsters Local 445's union hall.
Multiple speakers said the right to negotiate a contract is a basic right of all workers.
Adrian Huff, head of Local 445, said renegotiating a contract when an employer experiences a genuine financial crisis is one thing, but, "When it comes to the right to negotiate, we draw the line."
Paul Ellis-Graham, president of Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, said the rally showed union workers in Wisconsin, Indiana and other states where collective bargaining is coming under fire that, "New York's Hudson Valley is standing with you."
"The workers of America did not cause this (financial) crisis," said Ellis-Graham. "It was caused by greedy Wall Street bankers and investors."
Political figures who added their support at the rally included state Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, D-C-Forestburgh, who noted she's both the daughter and mother of union workers.
"I know where you're coming from," she said.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, was stuck in Washington, but Chris White from his staff told the crowd the congressman is behind them.
"Wisconsin is just the first battle," White predicted. "We have to thank Wisconsin for sending us a wake-up call."
Support also came in musical form.
Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, with Local 445 organizer Jerry Ebert, led the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Solidarity Forever," with some new lyrics reflecting the current struggle in Wisconsin.
Noting Seeger had to leave for another engagement after the performance, Ebert told the crowd, "He's 91 years old and still standing strong for the labor movement."
Thank you to all our union members of the Hudson Valley New York that came out today in support of workers rights and opposed what is occurring in Wisconsin, Ohio, and many other States.
Here is a shot from the roof of the Teamsters Hall, showing just one side of the rally. We braved the cold, we stand united and we will NEVER BACK DOWN in our support for ALL workers and the right to negotiate fair contracts and collective bargaining rights.
We are with you Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states.
Hudson Valley working men and women AND PETE SEEGER will stand in solidarity with teachers, firefighters, nurses, construction workers, public employees and many others under attack by governors and state legislators.
What's going on in Wisconsin is not an isolated event. Attacks on workers' basic rights is sweeping the country, and we will stand together to make sure our voices are heard!
Please join LABOR and PETE SEEGER at the upcoming solidarity event.
Thursday, March 3 HVALF (Hudson Valley) Teamsters Local 445 15 Stone Castle Road Rock Tavern, NY 4:30 pm Contact Beth Soto at 845-567-7760 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is trying to take away the freedom of nurses, teachers and other workers across the state to bargain for middle-class jobs and living standards.
In a new TV ad airing in Wisconsin, Racine Fire Fighter (IAFF) member Mike DeGarmo says the state’s public workers—including firefighters and police officers who are exempted from Walker’s bill—are standing together and ask all Wisconsin workers to stand with them.
When our crew is face to face with a fire, we stand together, or we fall together. It’s that simple. Now nurses, teachers and other public employees have come together to stand up for Wisconsin workers. Governor Walker, public employees have agreed to the cuts you asked for. And now they’re simply asking that you not take away their rights. We stand together, or we fall together. And we’re asking the people of Wisconsin to stand with us.
One thing you don't read about very much is that Walker issued a tax break that pretty much equals the savings he's trying to recoup on the backs of state workers. It's kind of a Robin Hood thing, except the money goes to Walmart instead of the poor, and takes from the middle class instead of the rich. Another thing not often mentioned is that, under Walker's bill, unions would have to be recertified on an annual basis. Think about Walmart, and how it's managed to avoid union all these years. It closed a store in Canada rather than admit union. When meat-cutters in a Texas Walmart decided to unionize, it cut meat cutting from the entire chain. It took nine years before Walmart even discussed this. Can you imagine having to face a Walmart-style intimidation campaign on an annual basis?
And this, clearly, is the model Walker likes. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama failed to keep his campaign promise to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. Such an act would have made it far more difficult for sleazeballs like Walker and the charter-loving Walmart family to continue thwarting the efforts of working people. Having waited past the point when the House turned GOP, the legislation is pretty much dead in the water.
The latest in Wisconsin is the 14 Dem Senators have left the state, hence the Senate cannot vote on Spending Bills. The strategy is to Kill the Bill and then recall the Republican Senators from office. Here is the full explanation of this process.
Matt Wisniewski, a 22-year-old college student at the University of Wisconsin, put together this inspiring video in support of unions in Wisconsin. The video consists of three days of footage of the 30,000 protesters at the state capitol in Madison against a bill that would drastically curb the bargaining power of public employees in unions. The accompanying song is Arcade Fire's "Rebellion (Lies)"