Thursday, April 21, 2011

City Council Member Crowley Rallies With Unions to Protect Workers' Rights

 L/R: Tom Sullivan, President of the Lieutenants' Benevolent Association; Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (speaking at podium); Norman Seabrook, President of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association; Owen O'Hara, the Honorable Elizabeth Crowley's son; Harry Nespoli, President of the Sanitation Workers' Union; Sidney Schwartzbaum, President of the Assistant Deputy Wardens Association.
Remarks by Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley
City Council Fire & Criminal Justice Services Committee, Chair

“Right now worker’s rights are under attack. The war on labors is not limited to Wisconsin or Ohio or Indiana, it is happening here in New York.

“Everyday we hear government officials threatening pensions and we can see these threats in proposals that cut our uniform services and our teachers. There are forces that are not trying to balance budgets—they are trying to break unions. This is not democracy—this is union busting.

“One of government’s most important responsibilities is to keep people safe. Our uniform services risk their lives to protect us and it’s up to us and the city to protect them. Our construction workers risk their lives and do dangerous jobs for our city’s benefit and we need to treat them like human beings—not like slaves.

“Our uniform services and laborers have a tough job and let’s face it: if we take pensions away, if we take away health care benefits, if we take away our bargaining rights, we will drive away qualified men and women to take on these dangerous and sometimes deadly jobs.

“This year, we remember the 10th anniversary of the attacks on September 11th in which 343 firefighters and 27 police officers died and more continue to die as a result of their heroism on that day. This tragedy should serve as a reminder of what the dangerous and sometimes deadly job our city workers face; and it should motivate us to speak out to protect the rights that so many people have died for.

“In solidarity – and only in solidarity – we will fight this war and we will win.”