Huge Labor Organization Drive in New York City Adds 28,000 New Members to UFT…Most Since 1960!

Providers celebrate the victory at UFT headquarters

Recently, home child care providers in New York City held an election with the goal of organizing and joining the United Federation of Teachers. The votes of the union election have been counted, and the results are in.

Yes to joining the UFT :8,382 votes
No to joining the UFT :96 votes
The effort took two years of organizing and a month-long get out the vote campaign, but the end result was worth it and serves as an event for organized labor in general. With this vote, the UFT gains 28,000 new members – making this organizing drive the largest labor organizing drive in New York City since 45,000 teachers joined the UFT in 1960.

The 28,000 home child care providers that chose to join a union, care for over 100,000 kids and they serve as the first educators for these kids, helping them with their reading and fine motor skills, as well as speech and homework. What did American business owners think this effort was worth? Their average salary is $19,000 a year with no pension, health insurance or paid sick days – making home child care providers in New York City among the lowest-paid workers in the region. That is why home child care providers voted overwhelmingly to join the UFT.

Provider Luz Alvarez tells her story:

Thank Heaven we finally have a union. I’ve been a provider for eight years and in that time I’ve had one vacation, which was to attend my daughter’s wedding. The union can help us go in and negotiate a salary and other benefits so we can take a vacation once a year or take a sick day without losing pay.

Americans better realize that unionizing is the only hope workers in this country have when it comes to leveraging their position against large corporations that only concern themselves with the bottom line and the whims of stockholders, and smaller greedy companies that clearly do not value what their employees do.

Workers must begin to utilize their collective strength to regain the respect they deserve or they will continue to be trampled by downward wage pressure and a global movement to replace higher paid American workers with lower paid and exploited foreign workers both domestically and abroad. Too often workers fell isolated and helpless in the face of management pressure that often results in intimidation, or job loss. As a nation of workers, we must reverse this trend.

Key roles in the New York City organizing drive were played by ACORN and New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. It is in this way, that is, building relationships with Democratic politicians and other labor organizations, that American labor can return to a level of respect and job security that they deserve. The predatory redistribution of wealth from greedy owners to needy workers is the first step in restoring a system that saw both workers and companies prosper during the post World War II era.

Anyone who says labor unions hurt business, only needs to look at the numbers.

From 1945 to the 1960s, union density in this country and corporate profitability increased steadily as unions and management worked together to build an environment of cooperation that resulted in a winning situation across the board.

Then came Reagan.

With the birth of the Neo-Con era, we saw open hostility toward unions, egged on by uninformed media pundits who simply want to protect the rich and exploit American workers.

Enough is enough. The conservative experiment is not working, in fact, it is slowly destroying the middle class as health-care costs sky-rocket, wages become depressed, job security drys up, and our education system falls to pieces.

Anyone who labels themselves as an ‘American’ must look out for labor. Only enemies of this nation and our way of life would look to destroy unions and the protections they offer the middle class. If this group includes conservatives, and I believe it does, then they are nothing more than treasonous leaches.

Support unions if you know which end is up…in the long run it is our only hope as middle class workers. 60% of your fellow workers want to…   


Posted on October 26, 2007, in Democratic Party, Labor, Law, Politics, Republican Party and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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