POLITICS

Parks Worker Facing Deportation Released from Detention

August 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Jose Molina is back on the job restoring Bronx ball fields for the New York City Parks and Recreation Dept. after the Local 983 member was detained almost a month after reporting to Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza. Four years of liberty ended for no apparent reason, his lawyers said, after Molina dropped off his passport July 13 and told his deportation officer of his next court date in May 2018. He was moved to the Varick Street federal detention center for deportation. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido , Local 983 President Joe Puleo, City Council members Carlos Manchaca and Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other elected officials and immigration advocates called for Molina’s immediate release. Molina was freed on Aug. 8. Molina, a dedicated Associate Parks Service Worker, is glad to clear another legal hurdle in his fight [More...]

Union Backs Mayor de Blasio’s Plan to Tax the Wealthy to Fix the City’s Troubled Subway System

August 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 members and activists joined Mayor Bill de Blasio at Brooklyn Borough Hall to show union support for a plan to generate more revenue to get the underfunded Metropolitan Transportation Authority back on track after a summer of constant subway delays and even several derailments that caused the system to be shut down. “It’s not just a subway crisis, it’s a human crisis and the status quo is not working,” said the mayor at his Monday morning press conference on Aug. 7 at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The mayor called for Albany to pass legislation that would tax individuals with an income of $500,000 a year and married couples making $1 million a year. “We support the mayor’s plan for a fair fix,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “It’s time for everyone to step up to the plate. The irony is our 2,000 members who work as engineers and in [More...]

Book Review: Beyond the $15 an Hour Movement and the Revival of Labor

July 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MOLLY CHARBONEAU How to build genuine trust among labor, faith and community partners to create a powerful movement is the universal message of Jonathan Rosenblum’s new book, “Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists and the Revival of the Labor Movement.” Rosenblum directed a groundbreaking Service Employees International Union campaign for a $15 minimum wage in the Seattle-Tacoma area — the first major initiative in the country to win this demand. Soon after, the Fight for $15 — which began when 100 fast-food workers walked off their jobs in New York City in 2012 — exploded nationwide. “But the campaign was about a lot more than just fair wages,” Rosenblum said. “It was, at its core, a struggle against the maldistribution of power in society.”This vision, echoing the earlier Occupy movement, attracted community and faith partners to the fight. In “Beyond [More...]

DC 37 Endorsements for the Sept. 12 City Primary

July 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

On July 18, District Council 37 announced its endorsements of candidates for NYC elected offices in the Primary Elections on Tuesday, September 12. Among the endorsed candidates are NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Borough Presidents Eric Adams of Brooklyn, Gayle Brewer of Manhattan, Ruben Diaz, Jr. of the Bronx, Melinda Katz of Queens and James Oddo of Staten Island. The union also endorsed 46 candidates for City Council seats, including the following incumbents in these competitive districts of particular interest to the union: Antonio Reynoso in District 34 (Bklyn-Queens), Laurie A. Cumbo in District 35 (Bklyn), and Carlos Menchaca in District 38 (Bklyn). The contests in the following open districts are also of special interest: Carlina Rivera running in District 2 (Manhattan), Diana Ayala in District 8 (Bronx-Manhattan), Marjorie Velazquez in [More...]

Local 983 Member Jose Molina Detained by Federal Immigration Authorities

July 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 Local 983 member Jose Molina was detained July 13 after going to 26 Federal Plaza to simply drop off his passport and tell his deportation officer of his next court date in May 2018. Instead, after four years at liberty, and for no apparent reason, Molina was re-detained. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 983 President Joe Puleo, City Council members Carlos Menchaca and Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other elected leaders and immigration advocates support Molina and are calling for his immediate release. Mr. Molina came to the United States as a lawful permanent resident from Panama when he was an 18-month-old infant — 38 years ago. He grew up in Brooklyn and has a wife and two young children. His story first appeared in the Public Employee Press in May and July-August 2017. A dedicated Associate Parks Service [More...]

A Progressive Budget

July 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO The new budget is a significant step forward for the city and the union. Our achievements resulted from our strong presence in the budget process. For months, we talked up our agenda — and this effort paid off. I am proud of our campaign and want to thank those of you who participated. We also appreciate the City Council and the de Blasio administration’s support for a progressive budget. The union’s mobilization campaign included news conferences; our annual City Council breakfast; rallies; visits to City Council members and discussions with Mayor Bill de Blasio; the testimony and attendance of local leaders, staff and members at the City Council, and coverage by our own newspaper, social media, and radio and TV shows. We don’t regard our budget activity as merely protecting our jobs. The budget is an expression of our vision of the role of government in [More...]

An Anti-Labor Alliance of Evil

July 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

While investigations into alleged Russian collusion and interference in the 2016 elections are ongoing, the coverage of these events has smothered significant coverage of the Trump administration’s alliance with the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and the Byzantine network of 1 percent-funded anti-labor institutions. This alliance is now reaching the height of its power to achieve its goal to destroy the American labor movement. President Trump — despite his attempts to co-opt private-sector unions during his presidential campaign and through his decisions to move forward on the controversial Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines backed by construction and trade unions — has fooled no one who knows all too well the anti-labor sentiments of the easily distracted Twitter fetishist, real estate mogul and reality show television star. “The Donald” dangles pretty prizes and [More...]

Unions Join Daughter to Fight the Deportation of Her Father

June 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 and other unions are fighting the deportation of a Mexican undocumented worker who has lived 30 years in the United States. Many unionists joined immigrant rights advocates, elected officials and the family of Martin Martinez at a rally in front of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s building in downtown Manhattan for a rally on June 21. In April, ICE detained Martinez — who fled poverty and violence in Mexico to come to the United States —and held him for two weeks. Apparently, ICE picked up the Newburgh resident because he was twice convicted for DWI about 20 years ago. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido described Martinez’s pending deportation immoral and at odds with the country’s values, which include welcoming the downtrodden of other countries to the United States. Garrido noted that the union is involved in another deportation [More...]

School Activists and Elected Officials Push for Extension of Mayoral Control over Schools

June 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Teachers and principals helping students cheat on standardized tests in 18 of 33 school districts and incompetent contractors who took two years to install just four windows at PS 55 in Queens were just two of the examples of the corruption and incompetence that plagued the Dept. of Education prior to the schools being put under mayoral control in 2002. Mayoral-control supporters fear the DOE could too easily return to those scandal ridden days if legislators in Albany don’t vote to extend mayoral control on this week. The current legislation giving the mayor control of city schools is set to expire on July 1. Legislators are locking horns over the issue of charter schools. State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan wants lift the cap on charters – a move opposed by de Blasio and other mayoral control supporters, including DC 37. “The future of our children is [More...]

DC 37 Members and Community Activists Demand More Support for Public Hospitals

June 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a series of NYC Health+Hospitals annual meetings in May and June, hundreds of union members and residents sent a powerful message: Do more to save public hospitals! Activists reminded NYC H+H of its mission: to provide quality health care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. As NYC H+H struggles to retain safe staffing levels, Leapfroggroup.com surveys show New York City’s public hospitals consistently provide better care than private hospitals. Employees said they work harder and longer with much less support, fewer supplies and dwindling staff due to attrition. “Working in constant crisis mode only leads to burnout,” said Nate Franco, a Local 768 member who spoke at Harlem Hospital’s packed forum on June 7. Dedicated NYC Health + Hospitals employees have staved off life-threatening outbreaks of Zika, Ebola, West Nile and Legionnaires disease, and [More...]