Op-Ed: A Seat at the Table: Vote Union to Uplift Working People

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By: Joseph Geiger, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the NYC District Council of Carpenters

Elections have consequences and this June New Yorkers will vote in the very unprecedented and consequential 2022 primary elections. Despite the delay in New York’s congressional and state senate primaries resulting from a chaotic redistricting process, union carpenters are doing what we always do – we remain laser-focused on advocating for the rights of working people by electing labor-friendly candidates who will fight for working-class values. Because let’s not forget that unions protect ALL New Yorkers, whether you belong to one or not.

As our State builds itself back from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, the NYC Carpenters Union is doing everything it can to protect our livelihoods and ensure that hardworking New Yorkers not only have a seat at the table but are part of the decision process.

That’s why last year our union launched Carpenters RISE, a member-led program that educates and empowers our union brothers and sisters to make their voices heard at the polls, gets them involved in their communities and the political process, and encourages them to vote for qualified candidates who understand issues that are near and dear to all working men and women.

Our members committed thousands of hours of their free time to build a grass-roots movement from the ground up to advocate for fair wages, good benefits, and safe job sites. We’ve proven that when we come together in solidarity and harness the collective power of union carpenters, we can affect change that favors the working class, not party lines. And we have the numbers to support it. In the 2021 primary elections, 77% of our endorsed pro-labor candidates won their races. That is a substantial win for the middle class.

Speaking from our success, it is now more important than ever to vote into office individuals who will be champions of labor. With the 2022 primary election just around the corner in June and August, we must collectively continue to build momentum and vote for candidates that will protect good-paying jobs and benefits for not only our 20,000 union carpenters but for all working people.

As carpenters and as New Yorkers, we have a responsibility to protect the future of the Empire State, and that future relies on strengthening our working class. That’s why our endorsed candidates will put all working people first as they lead our state during this pivotal moment in its economic recovery.

Carpenters RISE and our success in the 2021 elections have made clear that union carpenters aren’t just building a state-of-the-art skyline, we’re building a better future for working people in every corner of our state. But the work is far from over. Join us in building carpenter power and standing up for workers’ rights by voting union on June 28 and August 23. See you at the polls!