Thursday, December 11, 2014

VIDEO: All New York labor rallies behind Teamster horse carriage drivers

Here's a terrific video about Teamster Joint Council 16's Monday rally against a proposed ban on horse carriages. Banning New York City's iconic horse carriages would destroy 300 Teamster jobs, and New York union members arrived in droves to show their support for the horse carriage drivers.

The good news: Joint Council 16 President George Miranda believes New York City councilmembers will decide against the bill. Brother Miranda told the New York LaborPress
I’m confident that there is no appetite right now on the City Council to pass this, and I hope it stays that way. This is a bread and butter issue. To do away with 300 jobs is just unconscionable. We hope the Council understands that, and that we’re willing to work with them to find solutions to the problems [they think exist] in the industry.
Three previously undecided councilmembers said they're against the bill on Monday. More are expected to oppose the ban.

Here's Joint Council 16's press statement:
Central Park's horse carriage drivers were joined by a cross section of the New York City labor movement for a rally at City Hall today. The rally preceded the introduction of City Council legislation to ban the industry. See more photos from the event, here. 
“Today, New York City's labor movement stands as one behind our brothers and sisters in the carriage industry,” said Teamster Joint Council 16 President George Miranda. The carriage drivers are among the 120,000 members of the Teamsters union in Downstate New York. 
“If the City Council takes away their jobs, these workers will lose everything – and they haven't done anything wrong. We are asking City Council Members to oppose this bill, and we intend to win.” 
“What am I supposed to do without this job?” said Angel Hernandez, one of the 300 New Yorkers employed in the carriage industry. “How do I pay my bills? Provide for my children? I am proud of the work that I do and hope the City Council doesn't take this job away from my family.” 
The Teamsters and carriage drivers were joined by the labor umbrella organization New York City Central Labor Council, as well as many of its member unions, such as 32BJ SEIU, the Laborers, United Food and Commercial Workers, Transportation Workers Union, United Auto Workers, the Carpenters, the Machinists, the Insulators Union, the Plumbers Union, and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District 9.
Stay strong, brothers and sisters!