NY Labor Parade 2019: Young Peoples’ Interest in Unions Increase
Young participation to the unions and protests against labor and immigration policies of the Trump administration remarked Labor Parade 2019 in New York City. After the 2008 financial crisis created a new texture in the job market, millennials became the most affected generations. As the Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 800 points on Wednesday, Aug. 14, Wall Street suffered the worst day of the year. While the effects of 2008 are still valid, a possible recession creates severe concerns among young generations and the general public.
We talked with freelance writers and recently organized to the National Writers Union (NWU – UAW Local 1981). Stella Becerril, 33, said that “everyone should be in a union, everything should be unionized and that the workers should run everything. That’s why I am here.”
Reagan Hofmann, 36, explained why she believes unions are important for millennials.
“Millennials, which is a pretty big group of people at this point, we’ve seen workers really get treated very badly for a long time. We graduated during one of the worst recessions of recent history. We’ve fought for jobs, for terrible jobs. We’ve seen jobs go down the drains. This sort of working life that we were told was something that we could expect has disappeared in front of our eyes. What we’ve seen that unionizing is the only way to stand up for ourselves against this wave and trying to push back against it to make a difference.” said Hofmann.
Halley Mlotek, 33, shared how NWU is doing important things regarding the gig economy.
“As more and more industries move towards the gig economy model of organizing the labor relations in the workplaces, it is super important for all types of gig economy workers whether it is freelance writers or Lyft drivers, Uber drivers, all sort of contract workers to come together, unite and support each other and say ‘we don’t have the labor protections as freelancers.’”
The gig economy has seen strikes by Uber and Lyft drivers the first week of last May, “but we are still gonna stand up and fight back,” Mlotek said. “We are going to form unions. We are going to for the basis and networks of solidarity across different industries. And writers and workers just like any other type of worker, just like a plumber, just like a nurse, just like a teacher, we are workers as well. We come out at the labor day parade to show we’re in solidarity with workers of all sectors.”
United Automobile Workers (UAW) carried a banner of “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.” The union held the protest to address the humanitarian crisis on the U.S. – Mexico border in front of Trump Tower.
NWU criticized immigration policies of the administration with signs saying, “Close the Camps! AMNESTY for All! No Deportations.” Although NY Trump Tower has become a popular spot for protests, especially in the parade itself, the protestors were different this year. Construction workers from Local 79 protested the administration’s anti-labor policies. For construction workers, non-union labor means lack of job safety, flexible hours and low wages. Decisions of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on union organizing and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have affected workers negatively. The cuts from OSHA made by NLRB allows workplace injuries more than ever. NLRB also ruled “that workers do not have the right to engage in union organizing and similar activities on private property where they work but that is not owned by their employer” toward the end of August.
Robert Lafolla, a reporter covering labor & employment for @BLaw, @BloombergBNA, tweeted: “NLRB blocks a union from representing a ‘micro uni’” of technicians at Boeing’s South Carolina facility. The unit of ~175 workers out of the 7,000 at the facility didn’t share an internal community of interest distinct from those excluded, board says.
Unions went to the streets for the 29th labor parade this year in NY. Besides diverse labor week activities like in other parts of the country, New York has a special place to celebrate labor week. The first labor parade was held in New york City Tuesday, September 5, 1882. Over 10,000 workers marched with banners saying: “Labor Built the Republic – Labor Shall Rule It”; “To the Workers Should Belong the Wealth”; “Down with the Competitive System”; “Down with Convict Contract Labor”; “Down with the Railroad Monopoly”; and “Children in School and Not in Factories.”
Labor Day became official when the U.S. Congress passed a law in 1894 to legalize the celebration of Labor Day on the first Monday in September as a custom established by the workers to honor laborers’ contributions.
WHAT THE LEFT IS SAYING: Brett Banditelli, journalist and labor activist “Bernie Sanders had less people on staff when they got their first union contract. There are probably 10,000+ union contracts in America with less than 175 workers in them
Fuck you Trump
vote for yes for the union”
WHAT THE RIGHT IS SAYING: Right To Work (alleged account of National Right to Work Committee):
“Basically, the NLRB overturned IAM union bosses attempt to gerrymander a bargaining unit to find a majority that actually supports them.
When the workers at the plant all got to vote, they overwhelmingly (74%) voted against the unionizing.”