Union Aims to Mobilize Upstate Workers

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS

The union’s Blue Collar Division and the Organizing Dept. will be in Kingston, N.Y., on Dec. 13 to bring the DC37/AFSCME Strong campaign to Dept. of Environmental Protection employees represented by the union.

Two union meetings—one from 10 a.m. to noon and the other from 1 to 3 p.m. — will be at DEP’s Kingston lab.

The sessions will help members get to know their union better  and learn about its benefits. The meetings also aim to spark greater participation and activism, as well as to encourage agency-fee payers to join the union. Agency-fee payers are workers who are covered by the union’s contract and receive benefits but haven’t signed a membership card.

Organizers will offer training so members can have positive conversations about the union with their coworkers.

The upstate meetings follow a major campaign by the union to reach out to members in New York City who have not filled out a union card or have filled one out but are not on file with the union. Workers can also join online at the union website, where they can get the latest labor news and learn about union benefits.

The Organizing Dept.’s DC37/AFSCME Strong campaign helped thousands of union members at the City University of New York win a new contract after negotiations were stalled for years. It has formed Member Action Teams at City University of New York, the New York Police Dept. and other worksites to promote a stronger union presence and a chance for members to discuss workplace issues.

DC37/AFSCME Strong meetings and activist training sessions are open to all DC 37 members. The program is part of a nationwide effort by DC 37’s national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, to lead members to identify more with the union and to become more active.

Members who are interested in starting a Member Action Team in their workplace can contact the Organizing Dept. at 212-815-1221.

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