POLITICS

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...]

DC 37 Community Associations to meet in March 2018

February 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

District Council 37’s Community Associations are the building blocks of union’s mobilizing efforts in neighborhoods throughout the city and are essential to addressing critical issues affecting union members, retirees and their families. In March 2018, the associations will be holding their next round of quarterly neighborhood meetings on “Leading the Way – Bridging the Gap.” (see schedule below). “DC 37’s Community Associations provide our members, retirees and their neighbors with vehicles for positive change within their respective communities,” said DC 37 Political Action Director Jeremy John. “Community Associations meet quarterly to share common concerns and plan action. The union sponsors these associations to help address local problems and to build organization in the local community.” Issues and accomplishments A broad [More...]

Fight For Your Union! Join Us in Downtown Manhattan on Feb. 24

February 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

Join the Working People’s Day of Action, on Sat., Feb. 24, in New York City, at Foley Square, 111 Worth St., in downtown Manhattan. The rally starts at 11 a.m., ending at 1 p.m. On Feb. 24, join thousands of working people and our allies and stand up for our freedom to come together in strong unions and fight. Fight for equitable pay. Fight for affordable health care, quality schools, vibrant communities and a secure future for all of us. Demand an end to a system that’s rigged against working people. Corporate elites, extremists and corrupt politicians who do their bidding have rigged the rules of our economy and our democracy against us. Now, wealthy special interests want to further rig the system in a U.S. Supreme Court case called Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, which attempts to divide working people and limit our power in numbers because unions give workers a powerful voice in [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...]

National Union Launches Campaign to Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

January 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Fifty years ago black sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike to demand fair wages and safe working conditions. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. joined the striking members of Local 1733 in response to a request from AFSCME’s then-president Jerry Wurf. The strikers asserted their humanity with an empowering slogan: “I Am a Man.” Wurf enlisted King—a young preacher whose nonviolent boycotts and protests fissured longstanding, illegal Jim Crow laws, and won him international acclaim as a Nobel Peace prize recipient. King roused striking workers to stand strong. His presence lent moral authority, depth and clarity to their struggle. As night fell on Memphis April 3, King stood in the Mason Temple pulpit and delivered his prophetic “Mountaintop” speech. The next day he was assassinated at the Lorraine Hotel. “Let us never forget,” Wurf said, “that Dr. [More...]

City Pensions Plan to Dump Fossil Fuel Investments

January 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and trustees of the city’s pension funds struck a sharp chord for the environment on Jan. 10 by announcing a plan to free the funds from the clutches of fossil fuel investments over the next five years.  This move by a major U.S. municipality to divest from fossil fuel companies is first in the nation. It is also a slap back at recent Trump administration moves to hand over drilling rights to oil companies — which are responsible for most of all greenhouse gas emissions in the last century. “Safeguarding the retirement of our city’s police officers, teachers, firefighters and city workers is our top priority, and we believe that their financial future is linked to the sustainability of the planet,” Comptroller Stringer said at a press conference at the Manhattan Youth Center, in in lower [More...]

DC 37 Community Associations gear up for January 2018 meetings

January 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

District Council 37’s Community Associations are the building blocks of union’s mobilizing efforts in neighborhoods throughout the city and are essential to addressing critical issues affecting union members, retirees and their families. In January 2018, the associations are gearing up for the year ahead with their first round of quarterly neighborhood meetings (see schedule below). “DC 37’s Community Associations provide our members, retirees and their neighbors with vehicles for positive change within their respective communities,” said DC 37 Political Action Director Jeremy John. “Community Associations meet quarterly to share common concerns and plan action. The union sponsors these associations to help address local problems and to build organization in the local community.” Issues and accomplishments A broad range of topics is addressed at [More...]