POLITICS

Volunteer to Get Out the Vote: Oct. 21 and Nov. 4, 2017

October 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

ATTENTION DC 37 MEMBERS AND RETIREES — Please join DC 37 on Saturday, October 21 and Saturday, November 4, 2017 to help Get Out the Vote for this year’s election. We need volunteers to help inform members about the dangers of the New York State Constitutional Convention. Volunteers are needed from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations: Bronx: Church Of Gods Children – 159 Dreiser Loop (Lower Level) – Bronx, NY 10475 Brooklyn: St. Gabriel’s Church – 331 Hawthorne St. – Brooklyn, NY 11225 Manhattan: 2005 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., (cor. 120th St) – New York, NY 10027 Queens: 172-02 Jamaica Ave. – Jamaica, NY 11432 FOR INFO AND TO SIGN UP If you would like to sign up, or need more information, please call the DC 37 Political Action Department at (212) 815-1550 or click on the link below: DC 37 Get Out [More...]

The Right-wing Bradley Foundation Plots to Destroy Unions

October 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES A right-wing network of foundations and front groups has spent decades trying to wipe out unions. One of those anti-union foundations is the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. A few years ago, the foundation helped Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker successfully attack public employees and withstand a union-led recall effort. Walker’s chief targets were the teachers union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, DC 37’s national union. Today, the “Wisconsin Model” — whose core goals are weakening collective bargaining, defunding unions, restricting workplace rights, promoting school vouchers, and backing right-to-work legislation — provides the blueprint for anti-labor and anti-government initiatives around the country. “We are up against a conservative network that is sinking millions and millions of dollars into [More...]

Union Organizes Against Constitutional Convention

October 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As the Nov. 7 elections  approach, DC 37 is stepping up its work with a coalition fighting against a ballot question on whether the state should hold a constitutional convention. Established earlier this year, New Yorkers Against Corruption is spreading the word about the danger of holding a convention, which would open the door for special interests to chip away at crucial protections and rights enshrined in the state constitution. The group’s campaign includes a media outreach and door-to-door canvassing. “A lot is at risk,” said Jordan Marks, the group’s campaign manager. “Voting rights. Criminal justice. Environmental protections. Women’s health and a lot more.” Besides working with the coalition, the union is also focusing on informing members about the constitutional convention. Polls show that the convention is not on the radar screen of most [More...]

Union Activists Demand More Aid for Puerto Rico

October 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Union activists from District Council 37, 32 BJ SEIU, and the Communication Workers of America joined elected officials at a rally at Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, demanding President Donald J. Trump and the federal government step up their recovery operations in Puerto Rico and cancel the island’s $72 billion debt. “We can’t afford to waste any more time,” said DC 37 and Local 1549 president Eddie Rodriguez at the lunchtime rally, across the street from Federal Plaza. “Our brothers and sisters on the island desperately need our help now.” Like many Puerto Ricans throughout the United States, Rodriguez has been unable to contact family members who live on the island. Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma and destroyed the island’s power grid. The Oct. 4 rally was organized by Vamos4PR, a coalition of union and community [More...]

Justice for Dreamers

October 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Many of us were morally outraged by President Donald J. Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA protects undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation and allows them to work and study here. The day after Trump’s Sept. 5 announcement, I joined New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorneys general of Massachusetts and Washington, young immigrants, nonprofit groups and private companies at a press conference to denounce the repeal. At the press conference, Schneiderman announced that he and eleven other state attorneys general would contest the Trump administration in court, charging that the DACA shutdown violated federal executive policy-making rules. Many immigrants understandably felt Trump’s decision to phase out DACA disrespected their community as well as [More...]

New York Attorney General Leads Opposition to Trump’s Overtime Pay Rollback

September 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of Attorneys General in opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back overtime pay protections for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and millions of Americans. The US Department of Labor threatens to roll back the Obama administration’s rule set to go into effect last year that would have expanded overtime pay protections for workers by setting a salary floor below which the exemption from overtime laws cannot apply. The proposed changes jeopardize protections involving overtime pay for millions of low-wage workers in the service and medical sectors, as well as office clericals, among others. In New York, this would have a devastating impact for hundreds of thousands of working families trying to get by in an unbalanced economy. “The Labor Department should be protecting workers’ rights, not [More...]

DC 37 Prepares for U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Against Public Employee Unions UPDATE: Court Will Hear Case

September 20, 2017 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE On Sept. 28, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to move forward on perhaps the most important case facing the labor movement in our lifetime. This case, Janus v. AFSCME, is expected to be heard during the court’s upcoming October term with a decision no later than next June. Janus is the latest attempt by anti-union forces to take away public workers’ hard-won freedoms to organize, negotiate for fair pay and working conditions, as well as to strip them of their benefits. Janus seeks to overturn the ability of unions to collect fees from agency fee payers, who enjoy the benefits of union representation without membership. A ruling may force public service workers’ unions into such a right-to-work environment. For the rich and powerful 1 percenters and corporate CEOs, a legal victory in Janus will hurt a union’s ability to fight on behalf of workers by allowing agency [More...]

DC 37-backed Candidates Win in Four Key City Council Races

September 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37’s activism helped determine the winners in the Democratic Primary elections earlier this week. “We focused our efforts in districts with high density DC 37 membership, communities where literally thousands of DC 37 members live,” said DC 37 Political Action director Jeremy John. Those areas include southeast Queens, central Brooklyn and northern Manhattan/the Bronx. An army of more than 200 DC 37 activists, volunteers and leaders began making phone calls and knocking on doors in July and helped provide the margin of victory for Mayor Bill deBlasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and numerous City Council candidates, in particular: Francisco Moya, District 21 (Queens) Adrienne Adams, District 28 (Queens) Alicka Samuel, District 41 (Brooklyn) Diana Ayala, District 8 (upper Manhattan/Bronx) Ayala took to Twitter on the day after the primary to express her [More...]

City Launches Free School Lunch Program with Help from the Union

September 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO After DC 37 spent years battling City Hall to make sure all students, regardless of their ability to pay, receive a hot meal at lunch time, free lunch will now be available to all of the city’s 1.1 million students. “We are extremely proud to have played a role in making this happen,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “With this change in policy, learning just became easier for many kids in our schools.” Garrido joined Chancellor Caren Farina, Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James and activists from the Lunch 4 Learning coalition on Sept. 6–the day before the beginning of the new school year–at PS 51 in Manhattan to mark the start of the new program. “This is about equity,” Farina said at the press conference. “All communities matter.” DC 37’s Local [More...]

Volunteer to Become an Activist in Your Community, the Workplace and Politics!

August 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

“I convinced myself I didn’t have time to add a new responsibility to what’s already a pretty long “to do” list. But there are too many troubling things going on in the country right now and I believe that playing an active role in my union is a meaningful way to take a stand for my family, my community, my colleagues — and myself.” That is how Local 1549’s Teddy Jarrett describes becoming a DC 37 Volunteer Member Organizer (VMO). Despite their busy schedules, DC 37 members like Jarrett are getting involved in their union to help organize workplaces, strengthen alliances with community groups and back candidates who support working families. Their participation comes as public service workers are under fire around the country. Unless they get involved now, members risk losing rights that the union has built up over decades. Anti-labor politicians are passing legislation [More...]