WGXC-90.7 FM

A thousand drawn to HV union rally

Apr 05, 2011 8:54 am

The Times Herald Record reports that approximately 1,000 showed up in the Newburgh area on Monday, April 4, for a pro-union rally designed to coincide with the day that Martin Luther King was assassinated while leading efforts to unionize garbage workers in Memphis, Tennesse in 1968. "The strains of 'Power to the People' and 'I Won't Back Down' blared from loudspeakers on a hill above the intersection," reads the story by Michael Randall. "In between tunes, labor union members and their supporters put those sentiments into practice as they rallied in support of their brothers and sisters whose very right to bargain is being challenged elsewhere in the United States... This rally was bigger and more informal than one held about a month ago a few miles to the west, but its message was just as clear."

"We're here because the American worker is under attack," the story quotes Sam Fratto, senior assistant business manager for Local 363 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. "The middle class is under attack. Somebody needs to stand up for the workers. The unions are going to stand up for the workers."

The recent labor rallies, Randall notes, have come in response to efforts by some in government to strip union workers of their right to collective bargaining in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. The event was organized by the 10-year old the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, which represents 113,000 union families across Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties. The above video was uploaded onto YouTube by jbatt1234.