Our Fight Ahead in an Anti-Labor Era

When we stand up, we fight, and when we fight, we win.

District Council 37 has survived many crises that have threatened our existence. Our struggles define us as a union, and in the end we more than just survive, we stand victorious. We are a proud people, and a caring people; we stand not just for ourselves, but for the communities we serve.

This union is strong because of its members. From that strength we accomplish many goals and have turned back many assaults against us, the quality of our services we provide the citizens of New York City, and have blunted attempts to diminish our power, and the rights for all working families to claim justice and equal access to basic services.

Never forget who we are. Never forget that DC 37 saved New York City from bankruptcy decades ago. We made sacrifices to ensure the well-being of our city. These measure came not from weakness, but a full expression of our union power. These efforts rescued New York City from financial doom, and maintained services until the city recovered.

DC 37 has always stood on the front lines in the historic battles for social justice, equality and the rights of all Americans to benefit from this nation’s potential and wealth.
While we have won often, this union has unfinished business.

Our work will never be done. We are not complacent. As some would say: after one accomplishment, always shall follow another. We can celebrate for a moment, but then we move on to the next struggle.

By the time you are reading this, the decision by the Electoral College will be finally known. After the recounts in several states and other controversies are resolved, Mr. Trump will be President-elect Donald J. Trump, with his cabinet possibly fully assembled, ready be sworn in on Jan. 20. Whatever our strong — and justifiably angry — feelings about his election, we must accept these results, or descend into social and political chaos. We also must take this electoral outcome as perhaps our greatest challenge yet to overcome. Ahead of us lies a path that is an unknown.

But sometimes the unknown is a good thing. Together we can make it so that this sudden path we are on does not conclude at an endless night. Instead let’s travel to the light of a bright future for ourselves, our families, coworkers, friends and neighbors.
This journey we must now undertake will never be easy, yet it is within ourselves that at its end, we can say we have won.

It is up to us to stand together as one and take the gauntlet suddenly thrust at our feet; to fight back against the incoming president and his cabal of predatory 1 percenters and slovenly bigots.

President-elect Trump, and the people he appoints, as well as the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress, seek nothing more than to roll back the clock, unleashing hatred and division, with the ultimate goal of destroying the gains this union has stood and fought for over decades.

For two years, DC 37 has been undergoing a transformation to become a more aggressive union. We need to prepare for the political challenges ahead with the Trump administration.
With our organizing efforts and strategic plan called “Leading the Way,” we are moving forward to prepare our members to defend what we have — and defeat the right-wing forces of darkness who have taken power as the result of the recent elections.

CUNY_rally_lee-10

Hundreds of City of New York workers and supporters rally on March 10 across the street from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office. Photo by Mike Lee.

This is no longer a time to dwell on our shattered hopes of November. Instead, we should view this challenge as an awakening for action. Our union’s history is that of never quitting. We refuse to surrender to events. We must defend. We will fight.
And we shall win.

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