Workers' Rights Rally-Buffalo
Thanks to Tom Campbell of WNY Labor Today for this report.

“Rallies like this one today are happening throughout the country as Jobs with Justice affiliates stand strong under the banner of: ‘WE ARE ONE!,’” New York State AFL-CIO Representative Angela Blue told the several hundred who braved very cold temperatures and whipped winds to gather in Lafayette Square in Downtown Buffalo.

“The current assault on Public Employees in New York State, the dismantling of public services that address community needs, the overwhelming unemployment rate, college tuition hikes, public school funding cuts… the list goes on and on,” Blue continued, “ We need everyone to take responsibility, including corporations and the very wealthy. We need to build a movement and tell our elected officials, as well as the rest of the country: ‘NOT IN NEW YORK!’”

The Buffalo rally was framed as a Solidarity Rally in Support of Embattled Wisconsin Workers and was sponsored by the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation and the Coalition for Economic Justice. The Western New York Labor Federation’s affiliated member Unions combine to represent a shade under 150,000 Working Men and Women.

The Buffalo rally came less than 24 hours after the State Senate struck the first blow in an attempt to dismantle Collective Bargaining in New York. A bill aimed to strip away the heart of fairness in layoffs - seniority - passed in the Senate by a vote of 33-to-27. Republicans voted in unison for the bill and were joined by two Democrats. New York State United Teachers President Richard Iannuzzi, whose Union represents 600,000 members across the State, said the "yea" vote was a vote against Public Employees. “You will hear from some who voted for this horrific bill that it's only a ‘one house’ bill and that it only applies to New York City or is simply designed to ‘start’ a conversation. None of these excuses and lame attempts at disguising the real significance of this vote are acceptable,” Iannuzzi said in a statement issued from Albany.
Photos by Dennis Stierer
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