2020 Has Been An ‘Extraordinary’ Year: An Open Letter To Western New York Unions & Their Members From WNY AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation President Richard Lipsitz
WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: Richard Lipsitz is President of the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF), whose Regional Labor Federation’s 140 affiliated Local Unions combine to represent 145,000 Union Workers in the Public and Private Sectors and the Building Trades.
Dear Sisters, Brothers, Allies and Friends:
The year 2020 will be remembered in the history books as a year filled with extraordinary events.
We’ve seen a pandemic ravage our population and economy.
We’ve participated in an upsurge of activity and consciousness about racism and discrimination.
We’ve experienced an unprecedented attack on our Democracy.
During 2020 we also kept an energetic and sophisticated WNYALF (Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation) program alive and well.
Our Unionized workforce played an exemplary and crucial role in providing Front Line Workers who put their lives at risk to keep essential services alive.
We adjusted to the need for mask wearing and social distancing during the pandemic.
We developed a Labor 2020 Campaign that was crowned with overwhelming electoral success in our region and which played a valuable part in electing the Biden/Harris ticket, thus rebuffing the attempt to substitute Democracy with a Trumpian dictatorship.
We joined with Communities of Color in the vigorous opposition to racial hatred.
We maintained a strong solidarity network for the numerous workplace struggles that were ever present.
And we continued a vigorous educational program.
Finally, we did all of this while learning new and innovative methods of electronic communication.
These efforts have made a positive difference and we should feel very good about this work.
However, we also cannot stand still.
We must remain vigilant and determined.
Donald Trump will no longer be President as of January 20th, 2021, but he leaves a lot of ugliness behind.
The Right Wing of the Republican Party is still very much alive and a threat to our living standards and to our Democracy.
The united front against Trump must continue to fight whatever brand of ugly populism that develops in Trump’s wake.
We must continue to put forward a Working Class Program that aims to improve the day to day conditions of the masses of the American People.
So, let us have good cheer that this year is coming to a promising close and let us reaffirm our commitment to build a world where real economic and social justice is the driving force behind all aspects of society.
And to all, a very happy Holiday Season!