Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Labor Council Calls For ‘Major Push To Help’ Building Trades ‘Secure Future’ School Expansion Work - President Briggs Says Organized Labor ‘Ready To Unite For The Next Generation Of Workers’
WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: Pictured above, Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council President Jim Briggs - seated next to Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council President Denise Abbott, addresses last week’s monthly Labor Council meeting in Niagara Falls. Also in attendance was new Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation President Peter DeJesus. Briggs took the opportunity to discuss a major push to assist the Niagara County Building Trades Council in securing future work for its Members in local School Districts that will embark on planned capital improvement projects. (WNYLaborToday.com Photos)
(NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK) – With the new President of the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) and the head of the Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council in the house, Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council President Jim Briggs welcomed back an array of Union Leaders and Representatives to the Labor Organization’s monthly meeting last week for the first time in a long time (due to the Coronavirus Pandemic), and began to outline a major push to help the Niagara County Building Trades Council secure future school expansion work across the county.
“We ‘have to do it for the next’ generation. ‘We have to keep the door open for those who are coming in behind us,’” Briggs, who serves as United Steelworkers (USW) District 4 Sub-Director, told the socially-distanced and appropriately masked Labor Representatives in attendance - including WNYALF President Peter DeJesus (pictured below at the far left, leaning forward, wearing a mask) and Buffalo Labor Council President Denise Abbott, who serves as Health and Safety Director for Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1168 and is Secretary of the Niagara-Orleans Labor Council.
It was the first time in WNYLaborToday.com’s recollection that both a WNYALF President and the head of the Buffalo Labor Council were in attendance at a monthly meeting of the Niagara-Orleans Labor Council, but also for any other monthly Labor Council meeting that Your On-Line Labor Newspaper has attended across the entire Western New York Region in recent years.
“We ‘have the ability to make change, through our local elections.’ ‘We can be better and stronger and we need to begin making visits’ to School Board meetings with the Niagara County Building Trades. ‘We need to put our kids (in the Niagara County community) into Apprenticeships.’ ‘We need to educate (School Board Members) and convince them (of the benefit of building Union),’” said Briggs, who was extremely pleased to see those in attendance after months of holding Zoom meetings via computer.
“I remember a meeting we attended at the Niagara Wheatfield School Board meeting with three Members of the Building Trades who were graduates of Niagara Wheatfield. All three spoke at that meeting. ‘Others did it for us, now we need to do it for the next generation.’ ‘We have to spread the (good) word about (Organized Labor and role in plays in local communities).’ ‘We need to be involved in more projects so they’re done the right way,’” he said.
WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: For More, Read: ‘Networking Future Generations’ - Niagara County Building Trades Council Rallies At Niagara Wheatfield High School In An Attempt To ‘Highlight The Need To Hire Local’ Construction Workers On Its $20 Million Capital Improvement Project At www.wnylabortoday.com/news/2020/11/05/buffalo-and-western-new-york-labor-news/networking-future-generations-niagara-county-building-trades-council-rallies-at-niagara-wheatfield-high-school-in-an-attempt-to-highlight-the-need-to-hire-local-construction-workers-on-its-20-million-capital-improvement-project/
Briggs also spoke about the on-going labor disputes at ATI Technologies in Lockport and with Unifrax in Tonawanda, which WNYLaborToday.com has reported on.
“These Workers ‘should have’ a pension. ‘They should have equal’ health care,” he said.
Briggs then touched on pay inequality when it comes to Workers and management: “You know that back in (1974), a Worker at General Motors made a living where they could afford to buy a home, ‘one’ home, while the CEO ‘made enough to buy (78).’ ‘Today, that’s risen to a ratio of one-to-(432).’ ‘The money is there but it is not equally and not fairly shared with Workers.’ (Organized Labor must keep working hard) ‘to create a path of positivity for our children.’ 'We need to look out for the next generation.'”
WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: For More On The USW’s On-Going Strike At ATI Technologies, Read Your Labor Newspaper’s April 20th Report, Headlined: Just Five Years After Being Locked Out By The Global Metals Company, It’s ‘Déjà Vu’ For United Steelworkers-Represented ATI Technologies Workers In Lockport, Who Are Back On The Picket Line, This Time For A ULP Strike And For More On The Unifrax Story, Go To WNYLaborToday.com’s February 10th Report, Headlined: “Why Are We Being Treated So Unfairly?” - ‘Frustrated & Angry’ USW-Represented Essential Workers Employed At Tonawanda’s Unifrax Plant Have Been ‘Toiling Under A COVID Cloud Without A New Contract’ Since November At www.wnylabortoday.com/news/2021/02/10/buffalo-and-western-new-york-labor-news/why-are-we-being-treated-so-unfairly-frustrated-angry-usw-represented-essential-workers-employed-at-tonawanda-s-unifrax-plant-have-been-toiling-under-a-covid-cloud-without-a-new-contract-since-november/