Unions Rally in Trenton With LGBT Support

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Union Rally in Trenton 2011 signWorking people’s solidarity was the resounding them in Trenton on February 25, when thousands of union members and supporters rallied in front of New Jersey’s historic statehouse in support of government employee unions. Rally organizers said they were supporting unions in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere whose basic existence is being threatened by Republican party efforts to legislate away collective bargaining.

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Steven Goldstein of GSE said, “New Jersey’s labor movement has stood with us passionately – and we stand passionately with labor.”

Garden State Equality joined in the Rally. GSE Chair Steven Goldstein said “In the fight for LGBT equality, New Jersey’s labor movement has stood with us passionately – and we stand passionately with labor.” Union officials from all over the country, including from the front lines in Wisconsin,  addressed a crowd composed of teachers, fireman, police, service workers – a cross section of the people who keep the state safe and functioning.

Union Rally in Trenton crowd.

Union Rally in Trenton supports Wisconsin workers. Photo by Toby Grace.

Over and over again the point was, made that this battle – which is shaping up to be the biggest labor/ management struggle in decades, is not about money. Union reps made it clear that they understand years of mismanagement and political expediency have put states in a financial hole and while the workers aren’t to blame for the problem, sacrifices will have to be made. The line in the sand has been drawn however, over the issue of collective bargaining rights.

New Jersey workers were vocal in sending a message to Governor Christie that they would be standing together on all issues of union rights. Signs in the crowd included ones that said “union busting is terrorism”, “recall Christie” and “solidarity!” A representative from the National Education Association pointed out the fallacy of Republican references to teachers as “privileged workers,” by saying “there are very few millionaires working in public schools.” Another labor speaker said “we know there are financial problems, caused by giving tax breaks to the rich, and we have to work together to solve those problems, but not at the cost of our basic rights.”

Union Rally in Trenton 2011 signWorking people’s solidarity was the resounding them in Trenton on February 25, when thousands of union members and supporters rallied in front of New Jersey’s historic statehouse in support of government employee unions. Rally organizers said they were supporting unions in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere whose basic existence is being threatened by Republican party efforts to legislate away collective bargaining.