On Thursday, October 4th, about 600 working families rose up in Fresno, Silicon Valley, and Watsonville to join other communities in a National Day of Action.
One month before Election Day, the rallies were echoed nationwide in multiple cities under the theme of “Unions for All” (#UnionsForAll). Union and nonunion workers vowed to elect leaders who will support union rights at a time when nearly half (48 percent) of all nonunion workers say they would join a union if they could.
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Fresno: Central Valley Needs Unions Town Hall
SEIU Local 521 members and community partners hosted a Central Valley Needs Unions Town Hall as part of National Day of Action in support of the Fight for $15 and union jobs for all. The event drew over 150 workers, community leaders, elected officials and candidates who openly discussed key issues affecting our communities. Access to quality child care, investment in community services, as well as education and immigration were discussed. Special emphasis was placed on the effect of the separation of families, the school-to-prison pipeline and public education as well as the need for investment in community services which families need to thrive. More than 90 Family Child Care Providers from Fresno, Tulare and Kern Counties rallying to fix California’s child care crisis participated in the event.
“We need elected leaders who will stand up for our children, working parents and child care providers and not just demand, but invest in early care and education,” said Fresno Family Child Care Provider Marcella Graves.
County workers from Stanislaus, Fresno and Tulare all shared the importance of electing leaders to county boards across the Central Valley that will stand committed to investing in community services. Michael Renteria, a Fresno County member leader, shared with attendees recent efforts by Republican leaders to move forward on yet another tax break for the wealthy.
“Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed TaxScam 2.0 – a massive giveaway to their campaign donors, and wealthy CEOs, at the expense of working families,” said Renteria.
Members in attendance also heard from newly elected Tulare County Board of Supervisor Eddie Valero, who recognized the diligent efforts put in during the primary to help elect him to the board and committed to making community services a top priority.
“The tide is turning in favor of working families, we need to continue to elect leaders that will stand behind labor and work to protect collective bargaining rights,” said Valero.
San Jose & Mountain View: Silicon Valley Day of Action
Around 300 local fast-food workers, child care providers and a variety of other Silicon Valley working families rallied together on Thursday, October 4th, starting the day with a strike and walkout at McDonald’s, followed by a rally at Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County Inc. (4Cs) calling for union rights for all. The day closed with an action at Google headquarters in Mountain View, calling on the tech giant to work with the community when planning its San Jose campus.
Even when workers vote to form a union like three years ago at 4Cs, U.S labor laws are not strong enough to prevent frequent anti-union busting tactics. 4Cs is the largest non-profit that provides subsidies and childcare placement for thousands of working families in the County of Santa Clara. Its workers, and the family child care providers they work with, vowed to support each other, demanding a union contract so that they can improve their lives and help solve questionable practices revealed in a recent state audit. Family child care providers in California have also been asking for the right to collective bargain for the past decade, and with the upcoming elections, the stakes could not be higher.
“We will never stop fighting until we win a contract that 4Cs workers can be proud of and until family child care providers win our fight for collective bargaining rights with the State of California. We all deserve contracts that support our work and strengthen our ability to continue to deliver the services our communities and children need,” said San Jose Family Child Care Provider Patricia Moran.
KKUP Radio – Listen to the audio clip here. (Credits: Mario Del Castillo, KKUP Radio)
Watsonville: Rally for Quality Family Child Care
The child care crisis is not imaginary; it has real consequences for real children. Over 150 Family Child Care Providers, parents, and community members from across the Monterey Bay region held a rally on October 4th in Watsonville City Plaza to say enough is enough. The event called attention to California’s broken, underfunded and inaccessible child care system as well as to the millions of children without access to quality child care —which is critical for a child’s development and the ability of parents to work and support their families. We must create a universal early care and education system that from birth enables every child to reach his or her full potential and allow them to begin the public school system with a solid foundation.
“As my union sisters and brother have shared today, our child care system is broken. California can and must do better. Thankfully, family child care providers and parents know what that solution looks like,” said Lilia Salgado, a Family Child Care Provider from Watsonville.“California must commit to invest in an educational system that prioritizes early care and education and values the work of those who make it possible. That’s why providers are joining together with parents and early care and learning advocates across California to win quality, affordable child care for all families that need it.”
1- “WHO WANTS TO JOIN A UNION? A GROWING NUMBER OF AMERICANS,” MIT Sloan Report, September 2, 2018 – https://gcgj.mit.edu/whats-new/blog/who-wants-join-union-growing-number-americans
2- Reports and news coverage about the recent state audit of 4Cs available at http://www.seiu521.org/2018/04/4cs-state-audit and https://www.sanjoseinside.com/tag/4cs