WHY WEAR RED ON THURSDAYS? -The significance of Red on Thursday- What every member should know:
In 1989, CWA Local 1400 along with our Union brothers and sisters in New York were on strike. One of the New York members from CWA Local 1103 walking the picket line was Chief Union Steward, E. Gerald Horgan. Twenty (20) years ago this August 15th, Gerry Horgan was killed from injuries he sustained when he was run down by a “scab” as he walked a picket line while striking for health care benefits. The driver of the vehicle which killed him was a manager’s daughter acting as a “scab” during the strike. As she approached the picket line, she accidentally accelerated her vehicle, and struck Gerry Horgan.
He is the only CWA member in our 71-year history to be killed on a picket line. Typical of Gerry Horgan, the picket line he was on was not his own. The Members on another line needed some additional help and asked Gerry to provide that help.
At the time of his death Gerry Horgan was only 34 years old. He was a dedicated family man, and very active in his community. He was the Chief of the Valley Cottage Volunteer Fire Department and a member of the Central Nyack Volunteer Fire Department. He developed, and was Team Leader of the Mountain Rescue Squad of Rockland County, New York. The Squad’s primary responsibility is for rescuing people who fall, or get trapped on the sheer cliffs of the Palisades. Gerry Horgan was also a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
When Gerry was killed he left behind two children, Christine who was 2½ and Danielle who was just 7 months. They are now coming of age where they can understand who their father was and what he stood for. We want them to know that their father’s sacrifice was not in vain and is still appreciated by the people he died fighting for.
A journal is being put together in Gerry’s memory to be given to the girls. This journal will be a lasting reminder for them that their father, E. Gerald Horgan, was a trade Unionist who is, and always will be, remember by his Union brothers and sisters.
So Why Red? Why Thursday? Thursday, because it is the day this tragedy occurred and red to symbolize the tragedy itself. Even though this tragedy occurred 20 years ago, the Queens, New York Local still supports Gerry and his family!
So as you look for something to wear next Thursday, show your support to your Union and remember your fallen Union brother in New York, and wear RED!
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY isn't about showing disrespect for managers or being anti-management. WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is about supporting the Union in the contract negotiation process. WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is having a voice in that process. WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is protecting your job and your wages from being reclassified into a lesser status. WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is saying the tuition reimbursement plan is important to you for your personal growth and development. WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is providing location security so you are not forced to move to another part of the country so the company can save a few dollars. WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is supporting families and working hours that are conducive to the family unit. WEARING RED ON THURSDAY isn't anti-management it is pro-community. It is having a strong contract so we can live together as management, technicians, service representatives, et cetera, without having to live in fear that one day our job will be replaced and eliminated -- it's about supporting your local economy. WEARING RED ON THURSDAY is being proactive during this process so we don't have to be reactive.
WEARING RED ON THURSDAY
is showing our collective support for this, our Union Contract, so we can prevent showing it on the picket line!
For all these reasons and more,
support your local Union and yourself! WEAR RED ON THURSDAY!
In January 2003, in another strike over health care, Michelle Rodgers was struck by a police car while picketing the GE Appliance plant in Louisville, Ky. A member of IUE-CWA Local 83761, Rodgers was an enthusiastic union activist who was hit while crossing the street as strikers gathered before dawn.
Gerry Horgan - CWA Local 1103, Chief Steward
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