OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bay Area workers will take to the streets Monday as part of a massive nationwide demonstration supporting collective bargaining rights.
Members of Communications Workers of America -- including journalists, flight attendants, university researchers and technicians, telecommunications workers and others -- will join colleagues from other unions and labor movement supporters in vigils, rallies and job actions to promote workers' rights to organize for a voice at work and a better life.
The events honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., where he had gone to stand with sanitation workers who were trying to unionize.
Bay Area events on April 4 will include:
* A picket at KPFA public radio in Berkeley, where workers have been fighting contract violations and anti-union tactics by Pacifica, 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the station, 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way in Berkeley.
* A lunchtime rally in downtown Oakland, in conjunction with the Alameda Labor Council, beginning at 11:45 a.m. at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.
* A rally at UC Berkeley organized by UPTE, CWA's University Professional and Technical Employees, noon-1 p.m. at Bancroft and Telegraph.
* An afternoon rally and march to "End Corporate Greed" in downtown San Francisco. Protestors will meet at 4:45 p.m. in front of Bank of America, 555 California Street, and march to a 6 p.m. rally at the Federal Reserve Building at 101 Market Street.
The Day of Action responds to attacks in Wisconsin and other states that threaten workers' ability to stand up for themselves and their families, local union leaders say.
"Collective bargaining is not only a right but a necessity," said Michael Cabanatuan, president of Pacific Media Workers Guild in San Francisco, TNG-CWA Local 395321. "It gives employees a voice in the workplace, a say in how they're treated and a way to advocate for the quality of their work as well as their wages."
Sally Venable, president of CWA Local 9415 in Oakland, said AT&T's bid to purchase T-Mobile underscores the importance of continually organizing workplaces in the private sector. "Our members understand that belonging to a union is the single best way to improve their lives at work and at home," said Venable. "Without unionized jobs we would not have a middle class in this country."
Public sector employees at the University of California feel a strong sense of solidarity with their counterparts in Wisconsin, whose rights to collective bargaining remain under attack, said Tanya Smith, president of UPTE's Berkeley chapter.
"Public workers did not cause the financial crisis in this country -- bankers and Wall Street caused it," she said. "States without unionized public employees are facing the same and sometimes worse crises than states with unionized public employees."