Cynthia has been a proud union member for over four decades. She believes it is in all working people’s interest in New York to support the work that unions do on behalf of their members. As Governor, Cynthia will resist federal, right-to-work attacks on organized labor by amending Taylor Law to allow public sector workers the right to strike and support organizing drives for larger and stronger unions and protect union jobs from abusive non-union contractors. As public sector workers across the country are under attack, Cynthia does not support undermining workers’ wages and benefits, unlike Governor Cuomo who added a Tier VI to the state pension system and reduced benefits for newly hired state and local public workers.
When I read this first thing this morning in the press, I had to look at it closely three times to actually believe that a serious candidate for governor on a major party is endorsing amending the Taylor Law to allow public employees in New York State the right to strike.
Cynthia's policy position should not be considered radical. International law gives workers free association rights. Back in 2011, a United Nations agency ruled that the Taylor Law prohibition of strikes by public employees violates core principles expressed in international law and a treaty ratified by the United States Senate.
This blog covered that decision at the time and we fully support the UN ruling that international law gives us a right to strike. Nixon's position on public sector workers being allowed to legally strike is legitimate.
Without an ability to withhold our labor, workers have little leverage in bargaining for better working conditions. The gains teachers made in NYC came in an era when we were not afraid to strike. Please don't tell me we have arbitration. Arbitration panels use pattern bargaining to settle disputes. They look at what other unions have received to guide them. Governments know they can just come to a contract agreement with a weak union and everyone else will be bound by its basic terms.
The mainstream press is already going nuts over Nixon's support for legalized public employee strikes. It is interesting how Andrew Cuomo apologist TWU President John Samuelsen agreed we should have a right to strike but said Nixon doesn't care about workers. It's also fascinating how TWU took the links to the UN decision off of its website.