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“Unions Coming Back” Was Labor Day Rally Outlook

POUGHKEEPSIE – The annual Labor Day rally, organized by Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner, drew a crowd of about 40 people, who heard mostly the same message as in the past. Tyner said one new side to the event this year was the focus on Saint Francis Hospital where SEIU Local 1199 has been trying to organize.

“We’re trying to make sure that there’s democracy in the workplace," Tyner said.  "If the workers at St. Francis Hospital want a union, and most of them have signed cards saying they do want, they should be able to have one.”

After years of losing strength nationally, among potential ‘rank and file,’ Tyner noted a recent poll showing signs of what he says may be a comeback for organized labor.

“The Pew Charitable Trust, on Thursday, released a poll showing that for the first time in a decade, Americans’ view of unions is favorable; 51 percent of the people in this country now view unions favorably, so, we’re coming back,” Tyner said.

The midday rally, in front of the Poughkeepsie Post Office, featured a list of speakers including labor, politicians and political candidates.