Labor defends Puerto Rican Day Parade

The following statement was issued by the Workers World Party Labor Fraction. Contact [email protected].

Despite a major political attack on the 2017 National Puerto Rican Day Parade, and on any who are welcoming recently freed Independence activist Oscar López Rivera to New York City this week, the workers’ movement will be represented at several events.

We salute the position taken by Service Employees International Union locals 1199 and 32-BJ, as well as the Labor Council on Latin American Advancement chapter, in defense of the Puerto Rican community’s right to choose its own heroes. The June 11 parade’s labor contingents also include Communication Workers of America Local 1180’s Hispanic Committee, Transit Workers Union Local 100 and the National Lawyers’ Guild, among others. A Labor, Community & Faith Breakfast to welcome Oscar López Rivera will take place.

The class divide is clear when contrasting this to the corporate exploiters who have imposed their logos on the parade in past years, but pulled their financial support last month. Why should any worker side with the likes of AT&T–still denying a good contract to its CWA Mobility workforce; McDonald´s–exposed by the Fight for $15 for its low wages and high rates of sexual harassment; or Coca-Cola–implicated in deaths of Colombian unionists?

In the days following the parade, a lunchtime picket of Santander bank for its rule in the financial crisis is expected to draw many workers, and the Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE) Caucus of UFT is hosting Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico president Mercedes Martinez.

We urge all workers’ organizations internationally to take action in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico against the PROMESA austerity that threatens schools, jobs, health and the environment. #DefendPRParade

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