NEWSROOM

Among the Richest Nations, the United States is One of the Poorest

February 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DAVID BRAND Poor Americans are getting sicker, dying younger, and even living on the streets more often as extreme poverty threatens the lives of millions in the world’s wealthiest country. Now the United Nations is taking action. Last year, the UN sent a team led by Philip Alston, a human rights expert and law professor at New York University, to investigate poverty in California, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. “Despite great wealth in the U.S., there also exists great poverty and inequality,” Alston said in a statement. “The idea of human rights is that people have basic dignities [and] that is the role of the government to ensure that no one falls below a decent level.” The UN has identified the U.S. as having the second-highest rate of poverty among a group of the world’s richest countries. According to the U.S. [More...]

DC 37 Leaders Meet With New City Council Committee Chairs

February 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 has hosted a number of meetings with new City Council leaders throughout the month of February to discuss issues of importance to union members and all New York working families. “It’s a great opportunity to express some of our concerns to the men and women of the City Council and to continue or, in some cases, start a dialogue with them,” said Local 768 President Fitz Reid, who attended the first session on Feb. 7 with Local 436 President Judith Arroyo and Mark Levine, the new chair of the City Council’s Health Committee. “It’s important to have an ongoing dialogue with DC 37,” said Levine. “We have to listen to our municipal workers.” In addition to the session with Levine, union leaders met with: Carlina Rivera, chair of the Hospitals Committee Alicka Samuel, chair of the Public Housing Committee Mark Treyger, chair of the Education [More...]

Local 1549 Members are Ready to Repel a Right-wing Effort to Kill Off Public Employee Unions

February 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Local 1549 members met to prepare a fight back against the efforts of right-wing groups to destroy public service unions and dismantle government services. During the conference held on Feb. 3, union leaders briefed members about the U.S. Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME. This case threatens to financially starve public sector unions by allowing workers who are not members to receive services for free. “We face perhaps the greatest attack in the history of unions,” Local 1549 Executive Vice President Alma Roper said. “We need to stand up and be strong.” Ralph Palladino, the local’s 2nd vice president, spoke of the threat posed by the right-wing network and the efforts of the Trump administration and the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress to deeply scale back funding for Medicaid and other services. After passing a new tax law that provides major cuts [More...]

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: A Labor Leader

February 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By LEE SAUNDERS The photograph is iconic. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., only 39 years old but the nation’s most prominent civil rights leader, lay fatally wounded on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. His lieutenants stood over his body, pointing frantically across the parking lot in the direction of the shooter. Dr. King was in Memphis to support the city’s sanitation workers — members of the union I’m proud to serve as president, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — who were striking in protest of poverty wages and dangerous, degrading working conditions. Their fight for dignity and respect was expressed with a simple, compelling slogan: “I Am a Man.” In his final campaign and throughout his life as an activist, Dr. King highlighted the struggle of all working people to get a fair shake. He’s best known, of course, for his civil [More...]

Building Political Power

February 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO President Donald J. Trump’s tax plan is a dagger aimed at the heart of New York and at working families across the country. Make no mistake, this is also an attack on public employees and the services they provide. By increasing the deficit by more than $1 trillion, the plan is allowing Republicans to argue that the federal government needs to impose deep cuts to programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These reactionary politicians in Washington, D.C. are dead-set on shredding the country’s safety net. They see this plan as the culmination of a decades-long project to roll back these services. The threat is immediate — and local. For example, here in our city, our public hospitals, already facing deep reductions in federal funding, anticipate additional cuts. Our retirement security is at risk as Republicans target Social Security and Medicare for [More...]

DC 37 Launches Black History Month Celebration

February 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union kicked off its annual Black History Month celebration on Feb. 1, with a ribbon-cutting and opening night dedicated to the theme of the African-American Experience in the Labor Movement. The union and the BHM committee along with co-sponsor Local 372 celebrated former Executive Director Lillian Roberts’ 90th birthday with special guests former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, AFSCME President Lee Saunders, New York state AFL-CIO leader Terry Melvin, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., U.S. Congress Member Yvette Clarke, New York state Assembly member Walter Mosley, City Council members Adrienne Adams, Inez Barron, Carlina Rivera, Andy King, Mark Treyger, Jumaane Willams, Debi Rose, Laurie Cumbo, Daneek Miller, Alicka Ampry-Samuel, along with [More...]

Heroic Local 420 Member Helps Deliver Baby in Hospital Emergency

February 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Although delivering babies is not part of his job description, Woodhull Hospital Service Aide William Vega says he just did what came naturally when he saw a pregnant woman and a male companion getting off a bus near the hospital one morning last fall. “I heard screams and saw she was in distress,” said Vega, a 16-year New York City Health+Hospitals employee and Local 420 shop steward. “Through the fence I saw him trying to carry her, to hold her up. I ran into the lobby, grabbed a wheelchair and ran to help them.” The birthing began just 10 feet from the hospital’s entrance. “I rushed her straight to Labor and Delivery on the 7th floor,” Vega said. “As the elevator opened on seven, the baby’s head came out. The mother delivered right in front of the nurses’ station. Everyone pitched in.” Vega was honored for his quick action at a hospital [More...]

Unions Launch Solidarity Campaign

January 25, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO As labor unions come under increasing attacks from a right-wing network and the Donald Trump administration, union leaders gathered in New York to announce their plans for an aggressive national solidarity campaign. The I AM 2018 campaign was announced during a breakfast meeting at the headquarters of the United Federation of Teachers. Corey Johnson, the newly elected Speaker of the City Council, was among the invited guests. “What Donald Trump has done is awoken a sleeping giant,” said Johnson, whose father was a member of the Teamsters. “Now is the time to organize like never before, and if we do, 2018 can be better a year.” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, and Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, are part of the leadership of [More...]

DC 37 Activists Join Thousands at the Women’s March NYC

January 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE An estimated 200,000 committed activists descended on midtown Manhattan on Jan. 20 to protest against the anti-women and anti-immigrant agenda of the Trump administration and the GOP-controlled U.S. Congress. Under a bright sun on a spring-like Saturday afternoon, DC 37 was there in force in the Women’s March NYC. Led by Civil Service Technical Guild Local 375, DC 37 activists participated in the march to voice their fierce opposition and resistance to the dark forces unleashed by the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency in November 2016. The local March was highly-charged in the wake of the government shutdown and the deportation threat to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, known as Dreamers. The #MeToo movement, which has encouraged women to stand up to abuse by men, was a key driving force of the nationwide protests. Millions marched from New York to [More...]

DC37 members help reduce NYC traffic deaths

January 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The city’s streets are becoming safer as a result of a plan to reduce traffic-related fatalities implemented by Mayor Bill de Blasio four years ago. With a 32 percent drop in pedestrian fatalities, 2017 marked the fourth consecutive year of declining traffic deaths in New York City, a success that counters the national trend and is a testament to the efforts of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero campaign, aided in strong measure by our city Dept. of Transportation workers—members of DC 37. Locals 376, 983, 1157, 1455 and 1506 represent hundreds of DOT employees who work tirelessly to implement and maintain the city’s road infrastructure and are a vital part of Vision Zero’s success. At a recent event marking the progress of the program, the Mayor declared: “Vision Zero is working. The lower speed limit, increased enforcement and safer street designs are all building [More...]