Take Action this Labor Day

Local 856 members at Eden Medical Center hold an informational picket on September 3 in protest of their employer’s proposals to take away important benefits.

Labor Day is a time when we take a moment to reflect on all that can be accomplished when working people stand together and push forward for progress. However, our fight is never over, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for strong unions and worker protections.

At Local 856, we are proud to have an active and engaged membership that is ready and willing to stand up against unscrupulous employers as evidenced last week, when members at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley took to the street to protest their employer’s egregious contract proposals. Our members at Eden are on the frontlines of the pandemic, treating COVID-19 patients and in doing so, putting their lives and their families’ lives at risk. Despite the dangers involved, Teamsters 856 members are showing up for work and caring for their patients. Instead of recognizing the work of Local 856 members as the heroes they are, Eden’s corporate owner Sutter is proposing take aways of important benefits these members have fought for. We are fighting back. 

The unfortunate reality is that greedy employers will continue to attempt to exploit employees even during national disasters. Teamsters 856 members from across all industries have stepped up and shown that it is truly our work that keeps our communities running. This is exactly why we need to continue to stand together and have each other’s backs. When we join together, we have more power than we would going it alone. When we stand together, we can win strong contracts and advance worker protections.

The November 3rd Election is going to be a battle for us to protect our future. COVID-19 has exposed the flaws in our system and we need to hold corporations accountable to workers and that means passing Prop 15 and defeating Prop 22.

Multi-billion dollar companies are spending $181 MILLION on Prop 22 to write their own labor laws and lower standards for all workers. If they succeed, it sets up a model that will impact all of our industries as it lays out a blueprint for corporations to buy their way out of basic workers’ rights. Wages, health care, worker’s compensation and more are on the line for all workers with Prop 22. I urge you to VOTE NO ON PROP 22 and to talk to your family, friends, and colleagues about this deceptive proposition.

YES vote on Prop 15 will close a loophole that corporations have abused and ensure they pay their fair share in property taxes. It is expected to generate billions of dollars that will go back to our schools and communities. Small businesses and homeowners will be exempt from Prop 15.

Most urgently though, thousands of essential airline workers, including hundreds of Local 856 members, are slated to be furloughed in October if Congress does not pass a clean payroll support extension of the CARES Act. Airline employees are crucial in keeping the flying public safe, but also are important in sustaining communities and jobs that rely on air travel. Click here for the number to contact Congress to ask them to pass the extension.

On behalf of the Local 856 executive board and staff, I want to thank you for your solidarity this Labor Day. Please stay safe and healthy. Your hard work does not go unnoticed and I am proud to stand with you.

In Solidarity,

Peter Finn
Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer