By Jacob Bourne
An animated gathering of labor activists and speakers filled a banquet hall for the San Francisco Labor Council’s Pre-Labor Day Breakfast on August 30 at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San Francisco. Keynote Speaker Sara Nelson, International President of Association of Flight Attendants CWA, attributed the existence of Labor Day to the hard work done by unions.
“Labor Day is our day as working Americans, and is an opportunity to focus the public on the history that’s not taught in our schools — about the struggles of working people to achieve the rights we have, and the reality of what we must do to ensure that one job is enough,” said Nelson.
Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi lauded the diversity of the Democratic caucus and the accomplishments of the Labor movement and emphasized that, “Our unity is our power.”
“The differences among us are minor compared to the abyss, the chasm of difference between us and what is happening in Washington, D. C. in the White House and the Republicans in the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi said.
Many from the National Union of Healthcare Workers and IFPTE 20 were in attendance to address their contract dispute with Kaiser Permanente regarding mental healthcare workers; and fueled by momentum from Airline Workers Campaign protests around the country, workers from SEIU, USWW and Unite Here 2 shared stories of their struggles on the job serving our nation’s airports.
“125 years ago, people thought we should honor the working class, that we should roll out an official holiday in this country,” said Rudy Gonzalez SFLC Executive Director. “Today we highlight challenges and opportunities to practice solidarity. We have major fights ahead to win for the working class.”