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Weekend “We Are One!” Rally In New York City: Thousands Gather In Times Square Against Job Cuts

NYS AFL-CIO & Central Labor Council Hold Solidarity Rally On Behalf of New York’s Working Men & Women/Labor’s Message: “We Are One – Respect Our Rights”

Published Monday, April 11, 2011 7:00 am
by http://manhattan.ny1.com
Weekend “We Are One!” Rally In New York City: Thousands Gather In Times Square Against Job Cuts

(NEW YORK CITY) - Thousands of city residents and Union Members (pictured above/Photo Courtesy of the New York State AFL-CIO and Amy Desjardins-Director of Organizing & Field Services) rallied in support of Workers' Rights over the weekend along Seventh Avenue in New York City’s Times Square.  The demonstration came amid fears of large-scale Public Sector job cuts and loss of Public Employees' Benefits in the face of looming New York State budget cuts.

The New York City Central Labor Council organized the rally in response to what it calls unprecedented attacks on Workers' Rights.  As many as 75,000 Public Sector Jobs could be cut in New York State. 

"New York was built by Union Members. Everywhere you go, you look here, it's Union, Union People built this," said Union Worker Lola Fischel. "It's not about money, it's not about jobs, it's not about budgets.  It's about breaking the Unions."

Saturday's event came on the heels of similar rallies around the country.  In Wisconsin, a law curbing Collective Bargaining Rights has sparked a heated political debate.

Those who marched through Midtown Saturday said State and City Governments do not need to balance the budget on their backs.

"It's an evil virus that can pollute one state to another, the kinds of layoffs that are being suggested in New York State or the fact that they want to eliminate tenure," said retired Teacher Doris Rank, one of the Saturday's rally participants.

"This mayor is trying to destroy the Unions in the City of New York. Make no mistake," said Teacher Dave Pecoraro. "He's lying about needing to do layoffs."

 

WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: The New York State AFL-CIO provided WNYLaborToday.com with the following press release regarding Saturday’s “We Are One!” Rally in New York City’s Times Square:

 

NYS AFL-CIO & Central Labor Council Hold Solidarity Rally On Behalf of New York’s Working Men & Women/Labor’s Message: “We Are One – Respect Our Rights”

(NEW YORK CITY) - The New York State AFL-CIO and the New York City Central Labor Council held a giant rally in Times Square Saturday on behalf of Workers’ Rights in both the Empire State and throughout the country.

Workers from the Public Sector, Private Sector and Building Trades lined Seventh Avenue, starting at 42nd Street  and stretching several blocks south, in a show of solidarity to deliver one simple message: “We Are One – Respect Our Rights.”

The rally was held in response to unprecedented attacks on the rights of Working Men and Women to organize, to engage in Collective Bargaining and to hold safe those benefits won at the bargaining table over the past 50 years.  It was one of more than 1,200 AFL-CIO Days of Action events – rallies, teach-ins, faith services and town halls – held throughout the week of April 4th.

New York State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes said: “Working Men and Women across the country are under attack like never before.  But as today’s rally has shown, these attacks have only served to energize Working People.  Today’s massive turnout is a testament to New York Labor’s strength, solidarity and commitment to our shared sense of purpose.  For anyone who doubts our resolve, our message today is clear: ‘We are one movement and we demand that our rights be respected.’  New York’s Labor Movement is rich in tradition when it comes to the unity and solidarity of its members.  That’s why it comes as no surprise that Brothers and Sisters from all sectors of our movement: Public Sector, Private Sector and Building Trades, stood together side by side, to respond to these unprecedented attacks.  With two-and-a-half-million Union Members in this State, the Labor Movement will continue to speak with one voice on behalf of ‘all’ Working People.  We urge all those interested in the future well-being of our State to join us in a thoughtful and comprehensive dialogue regarding the important issues of shared concern and interest facing ‘all’ New Yorkers.”

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