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Commentary
Join us in the streets as we march to a better future for all workers

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, May 31, 2019

By Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou, President,
Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation

We are at the epicenter of a flurry of pickets, rallies, marches and strike lines this spring. The tread on my tennis shoes is wearing thin and I couldn’t be happier about it. In the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges and in an economy hostile to workers, union members are standing up and taking their voices to the streets. It could be easy to just plug along with status quo contracts and minimal concessions, but today’s union members are saying that’s not enough.

For International Workers Day on May 1, May Day, the entire labor movement stood with UNITE HERE Local 17 hotel workers as they rallied for rights and respect in their contract. Nurses are staging informational pickets all across the metro and 80 brave warehouse workers with Teamsters Local 120 took the ultimate action of striking their employer. CWA workers at AT&T have been working without a contract now for 400-plus days and they are in the streets saying “they aren’t going to take it.” These examples are just the tip of the iceberg of local union activity happening across many job sectors.

In an economy hostile to workers, union members are standing up and taking their voices to the streets

This moment calls for these bold actions. Striking teachers in states where they don’t even have collective bargaining rights have turned the tide in the public conversation around education. Not only were they successful in raising standards for educators across the country, they also changed the narrative about the value of our public education system.

2019 started out with a grueling federal lockout of government employees. It took the threat of a wildcat strike from flight attendants and pilots to finally bring President Trump’s shutdown to an end and get those workers back to work.

We owe this action not only to ourselves to make our contracts better, but for all the workers who don’t have the protection of the union. The more inspiring and action-
oriented we are, the more other workers can begin to advocate for a voice in their workplace. Workers are thirsty for this action.

Join us in the streets this year as we march towards a better future for all workers!

Contact MRLF president Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou at 612-321-5670 or chelsie@minneapolisunions.org.

May 1: UNITE HERE Local 17 and other unions marched through downtown.
May 1: UNITE HERE Local 17 and other unions marched through downtown.

 



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