Happy Labor Day

Dear OCEA member,

Monday is Labor Day and this year, Labor Day is different. It occurs in the midst of the first pandemic any of us have experienced.

As COVID-19 continues its spread, most of us must also contend with the uncertainties it has thrust upon us. We must care for those close to us who have, or are at risk of contracting the virus. We must cope with the multiple challenges posed by children returning to in-person, remote, or hybrid learning platforms - for many all three occurring simultaneously. We must deal with the ever-shifting realities of the workplace, whether that involves the novelty of telecommuting, uncertain work schedules, or inconsistent and, at times, unfair direction from those in charge.

My own experience over the past six months has included elements of all of those things. But it has also confirmed for me that as different as this Labor Day might be, in one critical way it is very much the same.

Over these six months I have watched OCEA members time and time again demonstrate real concern for their co-workers. Your selfless actions have proven that when workers unite together, we can indeed demand, strive for, and achieve safety, stability and security for all.

We have achieved so much in just six months. There is still an enormous amount of work ahead. But on this Labor Day, as in Labor Days past, I salute you for your commitment. I applaud you for continuing to proudly serve the public despite the difficult environment. Most of all, I thank you for the privilege of serving as OCEA General Manager, standing side by side with each of you, united together to create the power of the union and using that power to make life work for you and your families. 

Happy Labor Day and stay safe.

In Solidarity, 

Charles Barfield
OCEA General Manager

Publication Date: September 4, 2020