Monday, March 31, 2008

Several Hundred Union Members Honor Cesar Chavez Day by Marching for Better Working Conditions Across the Region

In honor of Cesar Chavez Day, several hundred union members will march through the streets of downtown San Diego to highlight the need to increase the number of quality jobs in the region.

The “Journey for Better Jobs” will stretch from the San Diego Convention Center to the County Administration Center, making six stops throughout downtown to demand that all workers receive fair wages, benefits and working conditions.

“Forty-two years ago Cesar Chavez marched from Delano to Sacramento to bring attention to the plight of farm workers,” said Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez. “Today the 120,000 working families of the region stand together and say, ‘We will not stand idly as we see injustice on the job.’”

Several faith leaders, community groups and elected officials will join the workers on along the route.

Elected officials speaking at the various rally points include San Diego City Councilmembers Scott Peters, Toni Atkins, Tony Young and Ben Hueso and State Assembly Members Lori Saldaña and Mary Salas.

The event will highlight the need for San Diego workers to receive livable wages, health care and respect at the workplace. As the housing market collapses, the economy struggles and the prices of basic goods continue to rise, the region’s middle class is finding it more difficult to survive making justice on the job an important issue 15 years after Chavez’s death.

The principles that caused San Diego’s labor community to organize the event are the same as those that guided Chavez, one of the most prominent labor leaders of the 20th Century.

“Cesar Chavez said, ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community,’” said Gonzalez. “We in the labor movement take that to heart, and will always stand beside our brothers and sisters who are in need of help. Some of us work for employers that realize the value of their workforce. We must stand up for those who aren’t as fortunate.”

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