Councilwoman Helen Gym and DC 47 VP Ethelind Baylor
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City Council members Gym, Squilla, Parker, Reynolds Brown, Henon and Green co-signed this resolution
Affirming the strong support of the City of Philadelphia for public sector workers whose rights and freedoms are threatened as the Supreme Court considers Janus v. AFSCME, and recognizing the important role unions play in raising standards for all workers.
WHEREAS, It is our belief that all families should have the means to thrive in safe and healthy communities; and
WHEREAS, The working people who make the City of Philadelphia run must have stable, well-paying jobs that can support families; and
WHEREAS, Over the last forty years, working people have become more productive than ever, yet wages have declined and CEOs continue to earn more than ever before: 347 times more than the average person; and
WHEREAS, Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, where he marched and rallied in support of city sanitation workers on strike to demand their dignity, their humanity, and their union be recognized; and
WHEREAS, Those Memphis sanitation workers, who Philadelphia City Council honored in Resolution No. 180088, carried signs proclaiming “I AM A MAN” and struggled for basic freedoms: the freedom from discrimination, the freedom from degrading work conditions, the freedom to come together in strong unions to improve their place of work. To do justice to their commitment and tenacity, we must continue to do justice to all public sector workers, and especially those who are people of color; and
WHEREAS, Today, as economic inequality has grown and the ability for workers to organize has come increasingly threatened, workers across the City of Philadelphia and the country struggle for those same basic freedoms and a high quality of life for their families; and
City of Philadelphia
WHEREAS, Being able to participate in unions gives all of us – particularly women and people of color – a powerful voice in speaking up for ourselves, our families, and our communities, and ensures that each worker in the City of Philadelphia is treated with dignity, respect, and appreciation; and
WHEREAS, Those who have harnessed the power of collective action have won major victories like the 40-hour work week, overtime pay, and health and safety standards, as well as advanced policies especially important to women like paid leave, earned sick time, and reducing the gender pay gap; and
WHEREAS, When people can negotiate together for strong contracts, higher wages, and safer, dignified working conditions, all of us benefit, our communities are stronger, and our entire economy is made more fair; and
WHEREAS, As the US Supreme Court considers the case Janus v. AFSCME, which may decide whether those who work for the good of the public – such as nurses, teachers and firefighters – would be denied the freedom to unify and fight for equity, the City of Philadelphia must uphold its protection of the workers that run our City; and
WHEREAS, An unfavorable decision in this case would undermine the freedom for millions of working people, especially women and communities of color, to fight for high wages and meaningful protections; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, THAT THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, Affirms the
commitment of the City of Philadelphia to supporting public sector workers whose rights and freedoms are threatened as the Supreme Court considers Janus v. AFSCME, and recognizes the important role unions play in raising standards for all workers.
Sisters and Brothers:
This year, more than ever, we need our union brothers and sisters, retirees, and union family members to come out and join other unions in celebration of Labor Day:
Date: Monday, September 4, 2017
Location: Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19 Union Hall, 1301 S. Columbus Blvd. (at Washington Avenue)
Time: 8:30 a.m. meet with AFSCME District Council 47, at 9:15 a.m. is the Pre-Parade Kickoff Rally, and at 10 a.m. we march to Penns Landing for family fun activities. The event ends at 2 p.m.
This Labor Day and every day unions fight for real freedoms for working people:
- The ability to retire with dignity
- The time off to care for family
- The chance to earn a decent living
- The opportunity to see our children learning
When working people have the freedom to join strong unions and negotiate a fair return for their work, they win the power and voice they need to level the economic and political playing field. We encourage you to join us. See you there!
Candido Silva, Jr., Organizer and PEOPLE Outreach Coordinator