Prior to entering the union hall at the Ontario Training Center, all members were screened and briefed on safety procedures that needed to be observed during the meeting.
Representative Jimmy Elrod, ICRA Specialist Omar Cobian, and Journeyman Carpenter Michael Sotomayor each spoke during the public comments period stating why passing the Community Workforce Agreement would be beneficial to so many of our members living in the Inland Empire.
Omar Cobian, a 30-year resident of Moreno Valley, shared with the council that due to the lack of job opportunities in MoVal, he was only able to work near his home once during his entire Carpenter career. This resulted in him missing out on many of his children’s soccer games, dance recitals, and special events over the years. Stories, such as Omar’s are precisely why CWAs are important to those members who commute many hours to provide for their families.
Although public comments were mixed, many council members sympathized with workers who’ve had to spend valuable time away from their families and spend their money in other counties. The general consensus was that change needed to happen and it needed to happen fast.
In the end, the vote was unanimous. All members of the Moreno Valley City Council voted in favor of the city’s first Community Workforce Agreement. This meeting did not only create jobs closer to where many of our members live, but it also demonstrated how we are able to safely organize during a pandemic.
We look forward to working with the City of Moreno Valley and building community wealth where we live.