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Kristen Dart for Public Safety Statement on IBEW Local 1430's formation of a Backstretch Workers' Union at NY State's Thoroughbred Racetracks

August 22, 2023

I applaud the IBEW Local 1430 in working with the racetrack backstretch workers to establish collective bargaining and labor union protections throughout NY state. The horse racing industry is the backbone of our city’s economy. I believe strong worker protections will only continue to help grow and strengthen the workforce. Labor unions improve the working conditions for all workers - they aren’t just about workplace democracy, but also human rights. As the daughter of a 38 year union member, I have seen firsthand the positive impacts unions have on access to health care, workplace quality, and job security - changing not just the lives of the union members, but also their families. As Public Safety Commissioner, I will work to ensure our union brothers and sisters are always heard and supported. I encourage NYS thoroughbred trainers and owners to swiftly recognize the Backstretch Workers’ Union and establish a contract that provides the pay, benefits, and protections these valued members of our community deserve.

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