Heavy rains and the beginning of a holiday weekend were not enough to keep 150 union brothers and sisters from joining the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council on February 19 to show our support for collective bargaining rights and our solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin and throughout the country who are currently under attack.
What is taking place in Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, and elsewhere in the United States is a concerted attack on all workers at a time when the working class needs to be supported through job creation. It is a statement that corporate interests should trump all else, and it is setting an anti-worker tone for the rest of the country. It’s time to change that tone.
In San Diego, we gathered last Friday evening in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin. We held signs that read, “We are Wisconsin,” “Support working families,” and “Stop the attack on workers’ rights!” We signed letters to the protestors, urging them to keep up their fight, and reminding them that we stand with them throughout this struggle. We chanted, “Si se puede,” adding our voice to the growing, collective voice of middle class people throughout the country who refuse to lose their rights in the workplace. Perhaps most importantly, though, we reminded ourselves to be vigilant, as this war on the working class continues to spread nationwide.
“An attack on public workers is an attack on the public,” said Richard Barrera, a union organizer who serves as President of the San Diego Unified School Board. Barrera was joined on stage by California State Assemblymember Ben Hueso, as well as by several San Diegan labor leaders.
As organized labor continues to be the only institution to fight for workers’ rights, such as affordable health care, workplace safety, and the right to bargain collectively, we are seeing Big Business and their handpicked legislators attempt to silence workers who try to assert their right to a better life. It is an assault on upward mobility and the American dream. As this assault continues, union brothers and sisters in San Diego and Imperial Counties stand ready and in solidarity with workers throughout the country.