A contingent within our collective bargaining unit wrote the following post. In an effort to respect differing viewpoints within our unit, we are publishing the post here. Further commentary can be found in italics after the post.
The community support for Advancing Justice-LA reminds us that we are a vital organization in our fight to create a fair and peaceful society.
However, we are uncomfortable by the direction the communication has taken with recent responses to the announcement of lay-offs. In particular, statements that the Board has been “nakedly retaliatory” towards vocal union members are premature based on what we know. Now these claims of retaliation have become further sensationalized through social media.
A number of union members fear speaking up will be perceived as anti-union or seen as supporting Board and Management. But, we feel that it is our duty as advocates that we base our narrative on accurate and complete information.
We need to lift up unity during these difficult times. We believe diverse opinions or strategies do not weaken our fight but instead, will strengthen our efforts to help us achieve our ultimate goal of a stronger Advancing Justice-LA.
It should be noted that others in the collective bargaining unit disagree with the views expressed above. Many in the unit, including workers’ rights attorneys with experience in retaliation actions as well as many of the employees targeted for layoffs, firmly believe that there is ample evidence of retaliatory, anti-union intent by the Board and Interim Management. We encourage you to read our timeline post and this post and judge for yourself. We are confident that allegations of anti-union retaliation would readily hold up in a court of law, and we look forward to litigating such claims should it become necessary. It is also important to note that, in even the most robust anti-retaliation legal actions, it is rare to have “smoking gun” evidence that demonstrates unlawful intent; thus, the certainty that the following post demands is not only legally unnecessary, but frequently impossible to establish.
In any event, the entire collective bargaining unit remains unified in its opposition to the layoffs and program cuts that the Board and Interim Management have covertly approved. We remain firm in our demand for a moratorium on layoffs until a collective bargaining agreement has been finalized.