February 26, 2018

Working People's Day of Action: 'This is our day! This is a union day!'

Author: Ned Hoskin
Source: NYSUT Communications
higher ed leaders
Caption: FRAMING THE ISSUE. Left to right: NYSUT President Andy Pallotta; UUP President Frederick Kowal; PSC-CUNY President Barbara Bowen. Photo by El-Wise Noisette.

The rain held off on the last Saturday in February as thousands of union members rallied in New York City, Buffalo and cities all over the country to defend working peoples’ rights and stand up to the corporate agenda in Washington, D.C.

But the thunder rolled Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court opened oral arguments in the Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31 case, which posits that people who personally benefit from union representation should not have to pay for it.

It was a “thunderclap” of epic proportions — a social media activity that launched thousands of tweets and messages to millions of social media users simultaneously. Together, NYSUT alone reached more than ONE MILLION friends and followers in an amazing demonstration of the power of our collective voice.

There are more tools to help you spread the word at www.nysut.org/janus.

IN NEW YORK CITY, with 10,000 union members overrunning Foley Square outside the court buildings in lower Manhattan, NYSUT President Andy Pallotta moved the masses. He noted what it says on the frieze of the New York State Supreme Court building: "The True Administration of Justice is the Firmest Pillar of Good Government."

“Brothers and sisters, we are at a crossroads where the billionaires are trying to tell us what to think and what to do,” Pallotta said. “They think they are going to silence us. They are so wrong!

“We defend public education and we teach the students what it says on that courthouse about justice. That’s why today’s event is so important. We’re mobilizing to defend our rights. … “Unions are like a family and we stick together! … Together, we have the power!”

“Big money people want us to be silent in schools,” added Janella Hinds of the UFT, NYSUT’s affiliate in New York City public schools, “so educators won’t push back against policies that endanger students’ physical safety. But we won’t be silent!”

President Barbara Bowen of the Professional Staff Congress, representing faculty and professionals at CUNY, said: “We’re here in our thousands because we are being attacked in our millions! … Working people create the wealth of this city and this country. We are owed our share!”

“We’ve got the real power in this country right here,” exhorted Fred Kowal, president of United University Professions, representing academic and professional faculty on SUNY campuses. “This is our day; this is a union day! I’m a union man and I always will be! Solidarity forever! I’m sticking with the union!”

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Working People's Day of Action

Don't let them silence us.

Visit the Janus Action Center for the tools and resources to help you to tell everyone: "I'm Sticking With Our Union".

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