Why We Wear Red
- Published: Sunday, 31 August 2014 20:07
In 1989 along with many of our Union brothers and sisters across the country, CWA was on strike against NYNEX. This strike was successful in providing the language which assured us all the work in the outside plant associated with the fiber network. It was a long 18-day strike but we stood strong and we still enjoy many of the protections that we achieved during that strike. The Company looks at a strike as 'business as usual' and in a very impersonal manner, but this is our livelihood and it affects not just us but our families as well. A strike is never easy and it is always our last resort to protect our future.
One of our members walking the picket line was E Gerald Hogan, Chief Steward, CWA Local 1103. On August 15, 1989, Thursday morning, Gerry Hogan was killed. His death was a result from injuries he sustained when he was run down by a "scab" as he walked picket duty. The driver of the vehicle that killed him was a manager's daughter who was working as a "scab" during the strike.
In CWA's long, storied-history he is the only member to be killed on a picket line. The idea started small, we asked all of our members to wear red on Thursday to remind the Company of the blood they had spilled and to show support for our fallen brother. But it quickly spread nation wide as a sign of solidarity every Thursday as CWA locations across the country as a sea of red became an ongoing sign of solidarity. Wearing red is a simple but effective way to show the Company that we stand together as a Union. We all have personal lives and beliefs, but in the workplace every member needs to share the same goal: better wages, benefits, job security, and respect in the workplace.
No company that we represent can take away the wages and benefits that we fought so hard to achieve when we stand together. Our solidarity will make these companies prosperous and provide good jobs for generations to come only when we stand together.
Solidarity is not just an idea, it is a belief that together we can protect and improve our way of life.