From the YNN website March 3, 2011 SYRACUSE, N.Y. — “What’s disgusting? Union busting! What’s disgusting? Union busting!”
It’s a cry workers from across the country are shouting as they rally to protect collective bargaining powers.
“When you are in a union that’s what gives you the power, the power to go to the table and negotiate your wages and benefits. If that’s taken away, then what is there?” said Rebecca Fuentes, the Workers Center of CNY Coordinator.
In both Wisconsin and Ohio, the legislatures are working to pass bills that would strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights. State leaders say the effort would save states millions, but workers are responding with rallies and protests saying they’ll lose their voice.
“It’s little by little eroding the rights of workers. I think we just have to stand up and say enough and stand in solidarity with all workers,” said Fuentes.
Colleen Wheaton, the president for the CSEA Union’s Central Region, added, “We need to unite as workers in this country because right now the middle class is the one getting the hits.”
Now, even though the rally was organized to show solidarity for the Wisconsin workers, those here at the protest want to make sure Albany also hears the message.
“We see, you know, slashing public services, an attack on the public employee unions, a lot of those same things, we’re concerned we’re going to see here in New York State as well,” said Richard Vallejo, one of the rally organizers.
Workers are planning to have more rallies to both support collective bargaining and protest cuts to healthcare and education.
Organizers will have a meeting this Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Plymouth Church, 232 East Onondaga Street in Syracuse to plan upcoming rallies. The meeting is open to the public.