Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

Young Union Member Speaks at Large NYC Rally on Global Goals

September 26th, 2015 | Jackie Tortora

Jackie TortoraLast night, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in cities all over the world to stand in solidarity around global goals to alleviate poverty, economic inequality and climate change. Even though people were in separate continents, countries and cities, from Australia to South Korea to the United States, they all gathered “Under One Sky” to come together for these common aspirations.

Lorraine Barcant, a member of AFSCME Local 375, AFL-CIO Next Up and the Young Worker Advisory Council, made the following speech at the Under One Sky rally in New York City last night:

Fifteen years ago, when the U.N. Global Development goals were made, a lot of us were just kids. As we grew up, the inequality around us deepened, dividing us, holding us back. We can’t wait another 15 years to fix the inequality and racial injustice that’s ripping this country apart. What will we tell our kids then? That we didn’t organize, that we didn’t demand action from our leaders? That we’ve only made a little bit of progress?

That’s not enough. It’s not enough to have opportunities, if those opportunities belong to only a few. It’s not enough to have jobs, if those jobs don’t provide security or dignity. It’s not enough to have freedom of speech, if your voice can be drowned out by money.

And that’s why the labor movement is here: To bring people together in solidarity, and demand change. The labor movement says loudly that a little bit of progress is not enough, not here in New York, not anywhere in the world.

Tonight, young workers across the globe demand a future where no one is left behind. We can’t wait, we won’t wait, and starting tonight, things are going to change. Thank you.

This blog originally appeared at AFL-CIO on September 25, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Jackie Tortora is the blog editor and social media manager at the AFL-CIO.

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