Statement of Orange County Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
ORANGE COUNTY, CA – The strength of the labor movement is rooted in unwavering commitment to dignity, respect, and justice. We are saddened and angered by the recent murder of George Floyd. Unfortunately, we are not surprised. For too long, the plague of systematic racism has ravaged our communities and left despair, poverty, and distrust in its wake. Black men and women have a right to live and Black families deserve to raise their children in a society that does not commodify their race and force them to confront their oppressors alone.
This fight is our fight. The Brown letter carrier worries not only about Trump’s threats to privatize the US Postal Service, but also worries for their own safety and their route. The Black nurse who worries that their job will be slashed at a community health clinic but must also worry about their son facing police brutality on the walk home.
Our movement has a rich tradition of standing with movements demanding civil rights. It is painfully clear that these struggles are not over. We will help the unheard gain a voice and we will organize power among working-class people to make the changes our communities demand.
Now, more than ever, we must analyze the type of society we want for our children and grandchildren. Do we want more schoolhouses or more jails? More teachers or more police? Those questions will be posed in city halls and legislatures across the country as governments face budget shortfalls. We will be there to weigh-in. We call upon elected officials to fund services that support our community health, education, and infrastructure. Defunding oppressive institutions and forcing billionaires to pay their fair share is part of our solution to build the society we deserve. We must address economic inequality in order to have a free society.
The struggles for economic equality and racial equity are intertwined, and so too our collective fate. We say the name of those recently murdered due to the systematic racism in our Country: George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Sean Reed. Tony McDade.
The Orange County Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, along with more than 90 local unions from every sector of the labor movement, stand together as ONE to defend and protect the dignity and respect for all. We will not be divided! We will fight as one to defend our union and our community.
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