Labor Day is a day for workers to take a well-earned break and enjoy some time with family and friends. But for us as union members, it's also a day for reflection on the sacrifices that have been made and the fights waged over the years in order to gain the workplace rights that we all enjoy today. Many of the gains of the labor movement extend to workers who are not represented by a union. A strong labor movement makes for a strong economy and middle class. Unions are needed now more than ever. If you're looking for something fun to do over the Labor Day weekend, AFSCME members, along with many other unions, will be at the Labor Day parade in Wilmington. Come join in the parade and stay for a free barbecue at Banning Park! Click here for a flyer.
In the labor movement we often say, this is the most important election. This November is the most important election. For residents of the City of Los Angeles and City workers, there is an important measure on the ballot. Charter Amendment RRR, purports to "reform" the DWP but don't be fooled, it will not. In fact, it takes away voters' decision-making powers by enabling bureaucrats to determine rate hikes, gives voters less of a say on clean water and renewable energy policies, expands the board of commissioners who will now be paid and gives the board extraordinary spending authority without existing oversight and approvals from voters and elected officials. For us as City employees, the most frightening aspect is that Los Angeles is poised to become the Wisconsin of the west by dismantling the civil service system that's been in place since 1903 to prevent corruption. Employees in other City departments would lose the ability to promote or transfer to DWP with continuance of City service.
Additionally, who occupies the While House and the Congress will determine whether there is growth and stability of labor unions or continued assault to tear down and weaken the movement. Take the time to learn the candidates' position – do they support unions and working families.
Voting is one of democracy's greatest rights and it bears repeating - while every election is important, this is the most important election. Are you registered to vote? Are you ready to take a stand in November? Vote and be the difference.
Delegates from AFSCME 3090 attended the 42nd AFSCME International Convention in July. Read the story on an active and inspiring week here.
And don't forget to mark Tuesday, September 13th on your calendars for Movie Night! We will be showing the 2015 film "Suffragette." Click here for more info. See you there!
Enjoy the rest of your summer!