Saturday, December 03, 2005

Labor Rally Report: New York is a Union Town

Anyone who attended the labor rally today in support of GSOC can tell you that the experience was tremendously inspirational and reinvigorating. The turnout from local union members was overwhelming, and the speakers were rousing. Solidarity was palpable; I had goosebumps. The afternoon really brought to life for me one of our more popular picket line chants, "John Sexton's going down, New York is a union town!"

Word on the rally from GSOC:
Today the national labor movement united and rallied with us at our Bobst picket line. Labor leaders and elected officals admonished NYU's shameful union-busting tactics and pledged their full support for our strike. City Council member Christine Quinn reported that the Council has frozen funds for NYU until they negotiate with our union and City Council member Robert Jackson said that the Council will not approve any NYU development projects until we have a contract. NYC Central Labor Council President Brian McLaughlin announced that a GSOC fundraiser will be held on December 15. Details on the fundraiser will follow.

Other speakers included UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Teamster leader Gary LaBarbera, UNITE-HERE Co-President John Wilhelm, Manhattan Borough President-elect Scott Stringer, City Council member Bill DeBlasio, Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell, State Senator Tom Duane, Transit Workers Leader Roger Toussaint, CUNY faculty union President Barbara Bowen, Local 2110 President Maida Rosenstein, and GSOC Chairperson Michael Palm, who was also a guest this morning on DemocracyNow, a nationally syndicated progressive talk show. On Wednesday, GSOC member Jenny Shaw and GUS leader Julian Pena-Vargas were on the Brian Lehrer show, one of the most popular liberal talk shows in the city. For links or transcripts, go to: and
What the union fails to report on, however, is City Council member Robert Jackson's fervent speech, during which he twice declared, "NYU ain't gettin' sh*t!" (This was in reference to City Council approval for future NYU development projects.)

City Council and the rest of the NYC labor movement -- one of the largest in any North American city -- supports GSOC and stands with us in solidarity. GSOC strikers extend a heartfelt thanks to all the union members, union leaders, and local politicians who participated in today's rally; you've strengthened our resolve to win a fair second contract!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or was it kind of depressing that of the 500 or so people at the rally today, not more than a tenth of us seemed to be NYU-ers?

12/03/2005 12:50 AM  
Blogger specter of marx said...

Not so much for me. I actually found it really exciting to be surrounded by such a diverse group of people who are proud union members and supporters. It kinda made me feel like a real New Yorker. Because it was such a large group, I had trouble surveying the entire crowd to see who how many GSOC members were present, though.

12/03/2005 2:54 AM  
Blogger alice said...

I recognized a lot of other graduate students, actually. I don't think it was as little as you think. And I loved feeling in solidarity with other workers. It really made me feel that I'm making the right decision in continuing to strike.

12/03/2005 2:06 PM  

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