When workers in New York get together in organized unions, the combined voices of individuals can carry more weight. The perspectives offered by individual workers often go unheard when major political events take place.
The recent spread of protests around the nation in demand for police reform, sparked by the death of George Floyd, have brought attention from all around the world. New York City is one of the hardest-hit places in the U.S., and now is a critical time for people to make their voices heard. One conversation that has arisen out of recent events is the proposal to cut the budget of the NYPD.
Weighing in on this discussion is the country’s largest union of property service workers. The Labor Press reports that their leader, Laurie Cumbo, suggests that the money instead be used to fund mental health services, social services and education.
She represents an industry where school cleaners are still owed $4.8 million in wages from the city. Her union takes the stance that the huge amount of funding currently set aside for the NYPD drains resources from other vital agencies throughout the city.
This is not just a recent development. A City Council member stated that community needs have historically fallen by the wayside compared to funding for the police.
When workers need to have their voices heard, sometimes the best way to do so is to organize a labor union. In some situations, however, even the combined representation of many voices is not enough. An attorney who practices employment law may be able to help a union make its demands heard.