McLaughlin Leads Solidarity Rally For Electrical Workers
On the business end, the lawmaker–labor leader brought leaders from labor, government, the clergy and the community together for a show of solidarity against unfair work practices, including the outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries.
The target of the protest was Edison Price Lighting, which is located in Long Island City and has been the target of a strike since Nov. 6, 2004.
McLaughlin, president of the New York City Central Labor Council, declared: “This is a tragic situation. Over one year has passed, and these workers who helped to make Edison Price a success are still out here in the cold. They deserve better treatment and we’re here to demand better treatment for them.”
McLaughlin (D–Flushing) continued: “While American workers are being denied fair wages and dignity in the work place, jobs are given to foreign nations and those willing to accept less than the prevailing industry wage, which union workers have fought for for so long.
“I’m calling on Edison Price, in the spirit of the season, to end this now and let’s all enjoy a happy holiday with our families.”
Also at the rally were Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D–Ridgewood); Thomas van Arsdale, business manager, Local 3, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Alfredo Ramos, Hispanic Church of the Community; Jerry Walsh, president, Dutch Kills Civic Association; City Councilmember Eric Gioia (D–Long Island City); John Marchell, president, Local 3 IBEW; Ray Melville, assistant business manager, Local 3 IBEW, and Tony Esponda, striking shop steward at Edison Price Lighting.
Taking his own advice, McLaughlin and his wife, Eva, hosted a holiday party at his home for community residents. He told his guests:
“The holiday season is a time to rejoice and a time to remember. It’s a time for family and a time for friends, When we count our blessings and make every blessing count. It’s at this time that we are also thankful for the gifts we receive: some are store–bought, but many—and the best ones—are the people we know and meet.”
Among the guests were three war veteran leaders: Andrew Musumeci, president, Korean War Veterans Memorial Association; John Rowan, Vietnam Veterans of America president, and Herb Rosen, former County Commander, Queens Jewish War Veterans, World War II.
McLaughlin also hosted his annual holiday festival and tree lighting in Bowne Park, complete with children from area schools singing carols and enjoying hot chocolate and cookies as they waited for a special visitor from the North Pole. About 500 people from the neighborhood attended.