Building Trades

NY Labor Greets Scott Walker at Union League Club

June 10, 2014NYC union members tell Scott Walker to go home.
By Marc Bussanich 

New York, NY—Richard Trumka on Friday at The Worker Institute said that he hoped when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker visited New York on Monday that he would be greeted with the same warmth that the Governor provided to the workers in his state. Well, New York City’s labor movement gave him a warm welcome when he showed up on Monday outside the Union League Club. WATCH VIDEO of PROTEST

The governor was in town to help Republican gubernatorial challenger Rob Astorino take on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the fall.

Some of the union members who waited for Gov. Walker on the corner of East 37th Street and Park included Joseph Ilarda from the Laborers International Union of North America. When asked why he was there, Mr. Ilarda said he wanted to personally tell the governor to go home.

“Scott Walker is anti-union. He doesn’t belong here. He’s not welcome here. He did it to his own people in Wisconsin. He is wrong,” said Ilarda.

Walter Cooper, a political organizer for 32BJ SEIU, said he was joining his fellow unions to say he’s upset over the governor’s action three years ago when he severely slashed collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin’s public sector workers.

“I think it’s very important to show how dissatisfied I am with him. I was very angry when I watched on TV three years ago what he did to Wisconsin’s unions,” said Cooper.

Demos Demopoulos, secretary-treasurer for Teamsters Joint Council 16, was also on hand.

“After a hard day at work, we found out that Scott Walker is going to be here trying to raise money for Rob Astorino, so we’re all here to greet him,” said Demopoulos.

When asked what he would have said to the governor should he had crossed the street to say hello to the union members, Davon Lomax, a political organizer for the DC9 New York local of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, said,

“I would ask him how was he raised and was he raised with working class men and women."

Riding in a Jeep Cherokee with New York license plates, the governor quickly slipped out of the truck into the Union League Club’s entrance on East 37th Street but not without hearing from union members chanting, “Scott Go Home!”

Follow Marc on Twitter marc@laborpress.org

June 10, 2014

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