30 Year Anniversary of ’89 Strike
30 years ago, on August 6, 1989, more than 60,000 union workers in New England and New York went on strike against Nynex, beginning a 17-week battle against corporate greed. The extremely profitable company was looking for cuts to healthcare benefits, and the two unions, IBEW & CWA, refused to back down to company demands. Over the next four months, workers manned picket lines, held rallies, and built community and political support, with chants of “Hold the line in “89!”
The unions were successful, but it was a hard-fought battle. During the strike many people made sacrifices, but two members, Buzzy Farren from IBEW 2222 in Boston and Gerry Horgan from CWA 1103 in NY sacrificed their lives. Both were killed during the strike, and IBEW & CWA began to wear red, symbolizing the blood that was shed in our struggle.
This responsibility of wearing red on Thursdays should not be taken lightly. It is our way of showing our solidarity, and it is our way to show that we do not and will not forget our brothers. They laid down their lives for us – the least we can do is remember them by wearing red on Thursdays.
The solidarity forged during ’89 continues today and was instrumental in us attaining a four-year contract extension through August 5, 2023.
So let’s not forget our brothers and sisters who came before us, and give thanks for their sacrifices, especially the sacrifices of Buzzy & Gerry.