A very Happy New Year to you and your families.
On Monday, January, 19 we celebrated the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of working people. He had gone to Memphis to stand with workers who were fighting for recognition of their union, the AFSCME sanitation workers. Those AFSCME members had the courage to demand dignity and respect on the job and knew they could only achieve it if they had a union and could speak with one voice. Now is the perfect time to take a cue from the greatest labor and civil rights leader and those courageous workers and say enough. I am reminded of one particularly simple, yet poignant quote from Dr. King: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
We find ourselves in a struggle with the City of Los Angeles about things that matter: our health care, our wages and our future both as individuals and as a thriving city. If these things matter to you, I urge you not to stay silent. Let 2015 be the year that AFSCME Local 3090 and the Coalition of LA City Unions stand up as one and shout with one voice for a contract that does not cripple the livelihoods of our members and the people we serve.
Coming out of our first bargaining session of the New Year, the City of Los Angeles made it very clear that they will continue to push for a concession contract. I don’t have to tell you that we made major sacrifices during the economic downturn; sacrifice that goes well into the future. The City is in its best financial state in years – a relatively stable one – so we see no need for the position being taken. A recent article in the LA Daily News documented how the City saved $15 million in health care costs last year. Local 3090, together with our partners in the Coalition of LA City Unions, will continue to push back. In order to be successful, we all will have to stand together and demand that the city leaders do the right thing. We’ve done our part and we continue to service the residents of Los Angeles while understaffed and underequipped. Now is the time to fix that.
We will be reaching out to you in the coming weeks asking you to participate with us in actions, rallies and demonstrations. Let’s make our voices heard! The Time is Now!