Albuquerque, NM – Workers from several local unions armed with signs and chanting "power to the people" held a public vigil and labor rally at noon Monday in Albuquerque.
Retired AFL-CIO pipefitter and former New Mexico Federation of Labor Director Dan Rivera called it a human rights issue. He said unions are being disrespected and added he's prepared to fight for the laborer's right to collective bargaining in New Mexico. "We're being spit in the face," Rivera said. "We're being disrespected, and it's the people that gotta come out and stop it. It's disgraceful what they've done to organized labor--to unions. It's history, and the great heritage this country has. What do you do when you're attacked? You stand up and fight back, and we're here and I'm so glad to see it."
Also at the rally was State Representative Eleanor Chavez, who is also a field staff representative for the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico. "Workers in New Mexico have a right to jobs with justice, a living wage, benefits and a pension," Chavez said.
Monday's rally coincided with the commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 43 years ago. Rally leaders said they wanted to honor King's commitment to help workers earn collective bargaining rights.