President Taliercio's Message

May 12, 2021

"Amazon is just the tip of the Iceberg"
Organized Labor understands that in order to continue making a difference in workers lives, we must constantly be organizing and expanding into all of the new twenty first century industries. The working class, the middle class can only thrive and enjoy the benefits and protections under the law once they organize to form a Union and come under the protections of a Labor Agreement.

We look to our brothers and sister in Alabama and their valiant struggle to win a union election, while being forced to swim upstream all the way in one of the most hostile anti-labor environments in the nation. For the moment, the Union’s campaign at Amazon has fallen short, but this should not cause us to lose heart. Instead, we should learn the lessons of Bessemer and recognize that their struggle is also our struggle. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to form a Union. Over a hundred years ago workers came to the understanding that their only hope to attain the American dream was through Union Membership. So too, will the workers of all the new industries, including Amazon also arrive at that truth and Organized Labor will be there to show them the way.

In the meantime, Central New York is about to witness a spurt in job growth unlike anything seen in decades. Think about it – Amazon is building one of the world’s largest warehouses right here in Clay, New York, and has already begun the process of hiring a thousand workers. The new Biden Administration’s infrastructure program includes creating new jobs in diverse fields from construction to clean energy and home health care. There will also be a re-emergence of the service sector and tourism as the pandemic recession recedes which also means more jobs.

The question is this – What kind of jobs will these be?

We cannot wait for management or elected officials alone, to set the standards and rules of engagement for these new jobs. Workers themselves must take control of this process, but they cannot do it alone, nor can a local union. It is that moment in the struggle that calls for all Unions to rise together and stand with the workers as a unified Labor Movement and defeat the anti-labor employer.

Are you ready?

Ann Marie Taliercio
President
CNY Area Labor Federation, The Regional Body of the ALF-CIO