The Destruction of Progressive Wisconsin

January 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DAN KAUFMAN SHORTLY after his exit from an abbreviated presidential run last fall, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin returned to a more successful undertaking: dismantling what remains of his state’s century-old progressive legacy. Last month, Mr. Walker signed a bill that allowed corporations to donate directly to political parties. On the same day, he signed a law that replaced the state’s nonpartisan Government Accountability Board, a body that is responsible for election oversight and enforcing ethics codes, with two commissions made up of partisan appointees. Now a new bill supported by Mr. Walker, which is expected to clear the Republican-dominated Legislature with a Senate vote soon, threatens to corrupt Wisconsin’s Civil Service. In 1905, Wisconsin became the third state to enact Civil Service reform, helping establish it as a national model for clean government. The [More...]

Dr. King and Labor

January 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS “All work has dignity and importance,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said. At the midpoint of the civil rights movement he cautioned, “We must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.” Dr. King’s views on right-to-work laws still ring true: they are anti-union, anti-worker, anti-woman and anti-family. “Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone,” said King. “Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We demand this fraud be stopped.” Martin Luther King Jr., had he lived, would have turned 87 on Jan. 15. He spent his life fighting for dignity and equality. He aligned himself with [More...]

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

January 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Political Action Committee held its annual candle lighting ceremony commemorating the life and mission of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 14 at union headquarters with guest speaker Public Advocate Letitia James. “Dr. King paved a road for all of us and broke down barriers so we can reach our potential,” James said. “But until we address the disconnect, the violence and mass shootings plaguing our nation, until we tackle issues like poverty, unemployment and failing schools that diminish hope for future generations, Dr. King’s dream is a dream [More...]

Private Security Workers Mishandle Muggings at Battery Park

January 14, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS The fears of Battery Park City residents and community leaders were confirmed Dec. 19 when two teenage residents were violently attacked and one was knocked unconscious. Witnesses said newly hired AlliedBarton security workers failed to intervene and delayed calls to 911 and the police for some 20 minutes. They chose to call their supervisors first. The late night mugging sparked community outrage at officials of the Battery Park City Authority who had ignored the wishes of residents by signing a $2.1 million contract with the private security firm AlliedBarton to provide yellow-jacketed “safety ambassadors” to patrol the 92-acre riverfront community in Lower Manhattan. Residents said the authority’s board of state-appointees breached their trust when it obscured the bidding process, excluded residents’ feedback and ignored lawmakers’ requests to table the [More...]

Jan. 11 is “Union and Proud” Button Day

January 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

DC 37 members all across New York City will be wearing buttons to “Say It Loud: We’re Union and Proud” on Monday, Jan. 11. This show of solidarity takes place on the day that billionaire CEOs and their lawyers go before the U.S. Supreme Court to try to undermine public service workers. [More...]

A $15 Minimum Wage for City Workers

January 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $15-an-hour minimum wage for 50,000 low-paid city workers, including 20,000 workers mostly represented by DC 37, before an enthusiastic crowd of members, activists, City Council members and labor leaders at union headquarters on Jan. 6. “This is a historic day for our union and for working people,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido during the news conference at union headquarters. “We are here to celebrate a moment in history where working people won a major victory in our city.” The wage increase will go into effect by the end of 2018. The DC 37 titles covered by this plan include School Crossing Guards represented by Local 372, City Seasonal Aides, who are members of Local 983 and several thousand Job Training Participants (JTPs). School Crossing Guard and Local 372 member Maria DeLaura spoke movingly about [More...]

The Retirement Divide

December 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As traditional pensions disappear and millions of Americans worry about being unable to enjoy a comfortable retirement, the typical CEO has a nest egg of nearly $49.3 million. The largest 100 CEO retirement packages were worth a total of $4.9 billion in 2014. That means the combined nest eggs of 100 individuals equal the retirement savings of 50 million families, or 41 percent of American families. The country’s growing retirement divide is the subject of a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government. “The retirement divide is not the result of natural law, but rather the rules established that disproportionately reward company executives far more than ordinary workers,” according to the report, “A Tale of Two Retirements.” In other words, corporations have changed the rules to take care of their CEOs at the [More...]