HISTORY

Celebrating Caribbean-American Heritage

June 10, 2021 // 0 Comments

Dear Brothers and Sisters: Summer is upon us and we are hopefully just a few more weeks away from the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a struggle, but we are finally seeing the fruits of all the hard work and sacrifice that healthcare professionals have put into fighting this pandemic.  On behalf of the entire DC 37 leadership and executive board, I want to wish all members and their families a happy and safe National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. Each June, since 2005, our country acknowledges the many significant ways that Caribbean-Americans have shaped America. It is a time to celebrate the vibrant culture and patriotism of Caribbean-Americans.  Caribbean-Americans, like many other recent immigrant groups, have faced persecution on many different fronts often based upon the color of their skin, language, and immigration status. Despite the obstacles, [More...]

DC 37 Remembers Irish-American Contributions to the Labor Movement

March 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Although there are no public events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the union honors our Irish American sisters and brothers as we celebrate the contributions of the Irish people to our shared history and culture.  Most importantly, DC 37 recognizes the valued and impactful role Irish Americans have had building the American union movement, providing key leadership at crucial junctures during labor’s struggle, fighting for the right to organize, fair wages, and benefits, an 8-hour day—all rights that union members have enjoyed for decades. From the beginning of the labor movement in the 19th century, Irish immigrants, such as Mary Harris (Mother) Jones, took on all comers in fighting for workers’ rights. A union organizer first with the Knights of Labor, and later with United Mine Workers, Jones became legendary for her often-quoted words: “Pray for the dead and [More...]

DC 37 CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 

March 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

WOMEN LEAD THE WAY IN THE COVID PANDEMIC  By CARMEN CHARLES, President, NYC Hospitals Employees Local 420, DC 37 Women’s Committee Chair As we complete a full year of the COVID-19 pandemic and are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel because of the robust vaccination program that the Biden Administration has put together, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Women’s History Month.  This past year has been trying on all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a common cause for every human on earth. To no surprise, women have been leading the fight against COVID-19 throughout the entire world. From frontline healthcare workers to teachers and from retail workers to world leaders, women have fought through COVID-19 to keep our nation and world safe from this insidious virus.  Along the way, women have managed to outperform their male counterparts when it comes to [More...]

Erase Racism

February 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

DC 37 Celebrates Black History Month on Zoom By NINA E. MANNING, Secretary-Treasurer, Local 1930  DC 37 Black History Committee Co-Chair  The pandemic will not stop Black people from celebrating their history. We have overcome much, but we have not eliminated racism. Here it is the year 2021, and I am confounded that we are still being challenged for the color of our skin and gender.  As a Proud Black/African American woman, I stand on the shoulders of many outstanding heroes and sheroes. Mayou Angelou, Mary Wilson, Ruby Davis, Jamila Harris, Michelle Obama, Clayola Brown, Barbara Edmond, Jacqueline Crawford, Joyce Tutein, Almeta Johnson and of course my queen, Martha A. Manning, my mother.   I celebrate these sheroes as each one has played a part in my life and helping me become an activist in the labor movement and a fair and caring leader. I am very much into working as a [More...]

City Library Leaders Discuss Pandemic Response

August 1, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE When 2020 began, the city’s three library systems — New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Library — were building on their initial success in obtaining strong funding in last year’s budget. All three were in the process of providing an ever-expanding array of services to the public. They were also in the process of helping out with the 2020 Census and training workers and volunteers to assist patrons in filling out the forms in kiosks installed in the branches for that purpose. The libraries had begun to expand to meet patron needs, offering toddler story time, free computer access, and wifi. Along with a growing collection of multimedia items, the three library systems were able to provide afterschool, adult learning, and computer classes. When the year began, the city’s libraries — after years of underfunding — were vibrant, and the [More...]

Oliver Gray: A Quiet Giant

July 31, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE District Council 37’s Associate Director Oliver Gray, who helped guide two of the union’s Executive Directors with a quiet, yet proactive approach since 2002, died on June 29, three days after suffering a heart attack in his home in Manhattan. He was 79. Until his death, Gray was deeply involved as a guiding force for the union during the COVID-19 pandemic, including preparing Union Headquarters at 125 Barclay St. for the next phase of the long-term modernization of the building, as well as serving his other duties assisting Executive Director Henry Garrido, and supervising the DC 37 staff. Both in times of relative stability and during the tough labor struggles in helping lead the fight against layoffs during the administration of Michael Bloomberg, Gray remained calm during crisis. He supervised the recovery of Union Headquarters in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, [More...]

Remembering Dr. King

April 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS On the 52nd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination April 4, 1968, we reflect on his life’s legacy: the peaceful pursuit of liberty, justice, equality for all, and service to others. Dr. King would have been 91 this year had he lived, but his life was cut short in 1968 at the age of 39 in Memphis, Tennessee. At the invitation of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME, DC 37’s national union), Dr. King traveled to support Black sanitation workers who were striking for fair wages, safe working conditions, and the right to belong to a union. AFSCME pressed Dr. King to speak to Black Local 1733 members who daily bore humiliations and earned poverty wages. The last speech he ever gave, in which he famously declared that he had “been to the mountaintop,” was delivered at the Mason Temple in Memphis. Dr. King [More...]

Jim Tucciarelli, Union Leader and Activist, Retires

September 25, 2019 // 1 Comment

Jim Tucciarelli, a DC 37 leader for more than three decades and a staunch advocate for fellow responders who worked at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11, has retired. Tucciarelli, longtime president of Sewage Treatment and Senior Sewage Treatment Workers Local 1320, was a member of the DC 37 Executive Board and sat on the Judicial Panel of DC 37’s national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He fought tirelessly to protect jobs, and improve the lives of, sewage treatment workers whose dedicated service keeps New York’s communities safe, clean, and healthy. Local 1320’s members operate the Department of Environmental Protection’s 14 wastewater treatment plants and collection facilities. Throughout the years, Tucciarelli played a key role in organizing political and legislative campaigns in New York and around the country. In a 2016 [More...]

Stronger Together: DC 37, 1707 Unite

September 9, 2019 // 2 Comments

Private Sector Members Add to Union Power By GREGORY N. HEIRES and SARA HAAS New York labor history is being made this fall as District Council 1707, which represents 20,000 private-sector members, joins forces with District Council 37, the city’s largest public employees union. As a result, the six unions that made up DC 1707 — Locals 95, 107, 205, 215, 253, and 389 — will comprise a new, private-sector division  within DC 37, bringing DC 37’s total membership to 150,000. Each local union’s structure and leadership remain unchanged. “We are delighted to welcome these hardworking members, who provide vital services in the private sector to the city’s largest union of public employees,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This unification signals a new era in the fight for workers’ rights in New York.” “In unifying with our brothers and sisters at DC [More...]

The Motown Story

March 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The history of Motown is an American success story, a musical trajectory of glammed-up girl groups, silky harmonies and smooth dance moves crafted in Detroit at a tiny music studio called Hitsville, USA. The music captured the hearts of America’s youth at a time of unparalleled social upheaval. “The Motown Story,” a play written, directed and acted by union members, plots the record label’s course in a return finale production Feb. 28 to close DC 37’s Black History Month celebration. “These songs are the soundtrack of our lives,” said Associate Director Oliver Gray. “They tell our stories and are such a huge part of our lives.” Motown’s chart-topping tunes of first loves and loves lost gave solace to a nation grappling with civil rights, equality, and the Vietnam War. “The beauty of Motown,” Gray added, “is the music broke down barriers and [More...]