‘Celebrate Workers, America Needs Unions’ - A Labor Day Message From CSEA Western Region President Steve Healy
CSEA Editor’s Note: Steve Healy serves as President of Civil Service Employees Association’s (CSEA) Western Region, which covers 14 Western New York Counties and supports 46,000 Public Workers who are Members in more than 80 Locals and 220 Units, and who work in state government, local government, school districts, library systems, public authorities and in the Private Sector.
There is no doubting it, we have experienced some tough times in the past couple of years.
And again, this year Labor Day celebrations will look a lot different than in year’s past.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to loom over us, our parades, picnics, backyard barbecues and gatherings with friends and family will be stymied, muffled, postponed or canceled altogether.
But it’s important to remember Labor Day has meant more than the end of Summer or just physically getting together at social events.
It has always been a day to honor and celebrate the contributions of CSEA Members like you.
And over the past two years, the sacrifice and dedication of our CSEA Sisters and Brothers could not have been more dramatic.
This can be said for every sector and discipline of the American Labor Movement.
As our Nation struggles to get back on its feet, CSEA Members continue to persevere and deliver on their promise of a job well done.
America’s Working People have shown the world what we’ve known all along - that we are more than essential.
Working People are the threads that hold the fabric of our communities together.
We will always fight like hell for economic and social justice.
CSEA has been around for 111 years, and we are not going anywhere.
And we know what our Union means to us.
We have power on the job and that means we earn a fair share for the work we do.
Millions of Working People want - and deserve - the rights and respect that come with a Union Card.
However, many can't because of outdated Labor Laws or fear of employer intimidation and threats.
And today, there are some who are openly questioning the relevancy of Organized Labor - and others who are aggressively attacking our ability to organize and exist.
To all the detractors and to those who wish harm on Organized Working People - I say this: You will not win.
You will not deter us from creating a better working world for those who choose to belong to a Union.
And it’s time we stop vilifying Unions and celebrate the American Worker and our contributions that built this country.
At some point, our society needs to come to terms with the fact that America needs Unions now more than ever - especially during uncertain times.
Simply put, life is just better when you and your family are protected by Union Membership.
Union Members make more money, have more reliable health care coverage and retire with financial security.
Because we stand together, we have the power to negotiate for the wages and benefits we have earned.
But being in a Union is about more than just pay and benefits.
It’s about respect for the work we do.
It’s about being safe and secure on the job.
It’s about personal enrichment, having adequate resources and training to do our jobs well.
And it’s about always having someone to turn to if something’s not right.
Belonging to a Union gives you a voice on the job.
Workers who belong to Unions will always see positive differences in their paychecks, benefits, job safety and retirement security.
It’s called the “Union Difference,” and it’s about being shown the respect and dignity you deserve for everything you do for your community.
On this Labor Day, let’s continue to honor the hard work of our Union Family and put America’s Working Families front and center in a national conversation about building back better and keeping our economy moving in the right direction.