ILWU members in Southern California are taking the threat posed by the anti-union Prop 32 seriously. In addition to financial contributions made by Locals 13, 63 and 94, members are engaged in mobilization and educational efforts to make sure union members are aware of the threat that this legislation poses to workers and to get out to the vote on election day.
“In my 47 years as a union worker I have seen many tactics such as employer political lobbying, unfair bargaining and lock-outs that were intended to destroy the union, however, Prop 32 is by far the most destructive legislation that I have ever witnessed. If this Proposition passes in the November, it will not only reduce the political power of unions but it will open the door to allow corporations to seek a right to work state in California. This legislation, if passed, could possibly impact our Coastwise Agreement,” said ILWU Local 13 President Joe Cortez.
“If our agreements have no political backing and our collective bargaining becomes weakened, the Union can no longer exist. We will be an entity of the past only known in history books. We will be returned to minimum wage earners working in whatever conditions the employer designates.”
Local 13’s Prop 32 Mobilization Coordinator, Sunshine Garcia, has been working to educate members to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“After learning about Prop 32 we realized that the only way to defeat it is by educating our members. Our biggest priority is expressing to them how detrimental it is going to be to our jobs and the lives of all workers if this proposition passes,” Garcia said. “We are holding educational classes, producing literature, making buttons, hats and other swag. We be will be starting phone banking and precinct walks to help get out the vote. We need a minimum of 80% of union members to vote “no” Prop 32 in order to defeat it.” Cortez said that every ILWU member in California has a responsibility to get their friends and family out to the polls to vote down this initiative.
“ILWU it is up to you to bring your family and friends to the polls in November to oppose this discriminatory legislation against the working class,” he said. If they pass Prop. 32, it will silence the voice of workers and unions, making it easy to take away our rights, destroy our unions and hurt our families. Please tell all your friends, family and co-workers to learn about Proposition 32 and protect themselves by voting “NO” this November.
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