SANTA FE, N.M. – Nearly 2,000 union members and community activists took to the streets here Feb. 2 as part of the biggest New Mexico Jobs Day demonstration ever.
Since the strident anti-labor Governor Gary Johnson took office eight years ago, the New Mexico Building Trades Council has been holding yearly demonstrations at the state capitol to demand their collective bargaining rights.
Teachers marched to demand increased education funding and salary increases. They carried umbrellas in response to the Republican administration’s claim that the state’s $450 million reserve fund, one of the largest in the country, was only to be used for a “rainy day.” Senior and health care activists and members of the new Jobs with Justice coalition also marched in support.
At the state capitol, the demonstrators filed into the rotunda to hear pledges from a number of labor-friendly state legislators to fight for increases in the state minimum wage, health care, increases in education funding and reinstatement of collective bargaining rights for state workers.
The labor leaders pledged to remember in November those legislators who voted against worker rights in February.