As we head into March – the final stretch of the first quarter of 2016 – some of the recent headlines have become inescapably eye opening. And because it’s an election year it all adds up to what will most certainly be a wild ride to the White House.
With the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the world of organized labor has been given something of a reprieve. While the passing of a U.S. Supreme Court justice is most certainly not a cause for celebration, the political implications give us some breathing room with regard to the Friedrichs v. CTA court case that was headed toward an anti-union ruling. This does not mean we can back down!
This case is the biggest threat to public sector unions in a long time and we must work to preserve our strength as a union that fights for the middle class. The case would essentially eliminate the agency fee, or the “fair share” fee payer. This would be a hit that would be very hard to take. Local 3090’s very own Eva Espinoza co-authored a piece in the LA Daily News on the threat to public safety this case could cause as well.
It is often said “this election is the most critical.” Well it bears repeating – this presidential election is the most critical we will face for many years to come. At stake for us is the kind of labor movement we will have, the resurrection or complete decimation of the middle class, our safety at home and abroad and the country’s position with other world leaders. First and foremost, this means that you must be registered and voting. After interviewing national candidates who availed themselves, conducting polling and town hall meetings, AFSCME International has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. While this is a recommendation, you should make your own assessment and vote your interests.
In local news, AFSCME District Council 36 held a candidate forum on Feb. 16 and we talked to several local candidates, most of them for judicial positions. The interviews were very informative and we will be giving our recommendations to the LA County Federation of Labor. See some photos of the event here.
We continue to move forward with the implementation of the new contract. We have encountered some challenges that are being addressed and if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.
We incorporated a Saturday meeting into the schedule to accommodate the various work and personal schedules that would give more members an opportunity to attend meetings. Please make an effort to come to the next quarterly meeting this coming Saturday, March 5 at 10 a.m. Hope to see you there!