Every 20 years, New York is required to give voters the option on the ballot to open up the State’s constitution in a convention. On election night 2017, the working people of New York made their voices heard by resoundingly voting no to a constitutional convention.
This victory is the direct result of the hard work and dedication of IAM members across the state joining forces with other labor organizations and getting the message out to voters of the dangers of the ballot proposal.
“I take great pride in saying congratulations, and thanking all our brothers and sisters for their hard work, dedication and efforts in defeating the Constitutional Convention ballot proposal,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “It took working families of the past to build the protections we enjoy now, and it took the hard work of today’s workers of this state to ensure that quality of life for future generations. I am proud to be part of the organized labor movement.”
While changing the state’s constitution may sound like a good idea, to corporate lobbyists it sounded more like a great opportunity. A constitutional convention would be run by political special interests using a wish list of so-called reforms from big corporations with the goal of stripping away some of the best labor protections in the country.
“Losing the right to join a union would simply devastate the working families of New York State,” said IAM District 65 Directing Business Representative Ron Warner. “When our General Vice President made a commitment that the IAM would give a 100 percent to this effort, the members of our district responded to the call. I’m proud of our efforts, and proud of the leadership from the Eastern Territory.”
A constitutional convention would have cost taxpayers, and the working families of New York hundreds of millions of dollars. This is money that would never have had the chance to be invested in schools, infrastructure and other vital services.