carmen charles

Valiant Women of the Vote

March 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

By CARMEN CHARLES, President of Local 420 and DC 37 Women’s Committee Chair March is Women’s History Month and our union acknowledges the great contributions women have made and are making to America. As chair of the DC 37 Women’s History Committee, I invite you to celebrate with us at our Women’s Forum, Friday March 13 at 6 p.m. at DC 37 headquarters, 125 Barclay Street in lower Manhattan. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave American women the right to vote. The women’s suffrage movement took nearly a century, but through hard-work and sacrifice women persevered. As New Yorkers, we have a proud legacy of supporting women’s rights. In 1848, our state hosted the Seneca Falls Convention of the first women’s rights convention in the world. At this historic meeting, abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass, the only [More...]

NY Daily News Honors Women Leaders of DC 37

February 11, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The New York Daily News focused on the role of African American women in the city’s labor movement, featuring DC 37 members. The Daily News article focused on Local 420 President Carmen Charles, Carletta Pogue-Brewer, Local 384 shop steward, and Local 1407 member Isa Clarke. As leader of the New York City Municipal Hospital Employees Union, Charles has served seven terms as president. While a nurse’s aide at Coler-Goldwater Hospital, she was inspired to become active in the union after encouragement from others. She told the Daily News, “There was one lady – I guess she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself – and she was in leadership in the local at the time.” The local operates with the intense pace of hospital work, as she says “a 24-hour operation.” “I bring passion and a dedication to this job,” she said. The newspaper reported that [More...]

Union’s Caribbean Heritage Starts Its Fifteenth Year

June 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union celebrated the history and heritage of people of the Caribbean diaspora June 3 at the annual Caribbean Heritage ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I am excited to mark the Committee’s 15th year at DC 37,” said Committee Chair and founder Carmen Charles, president of New York City Hospitals Employees Local 420. With lilting calypso and reggae played on steel drums in the background, the audience enjoyed traditional patties and sorrel, a beverage brewed from hibiscus flowers and herbs. They purveyed art and artifacts that traced the history of peoples stolen from Africa, enslaved as free labor on Caribbean sugar cane, banana, spice and cotton plantations from Antigua to Trinidad. Their story includes mass freedom revolts in Haiti, Jamaica and the Americas and includes the historic presidency of Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Committee co-chair and [More...]

Fighting for Equal Pay!

March 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Women suffrage in 1920 won the right to vote. The 1963 Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay women and men equal pay for equal work. We’ve come a long way, but working women still struggle for pay equity. April 2 is the day women must work until to finally earn what a man earned in 2018. Women working full-time earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man — a figure that rose by less than a nickel since 2000. For women of color it’s worse. Black women must work until August 2 to earn what white men earned in 2018. Latinas earn just 55 cents for $1 paid to a white man. Only Asian women, who achieved pay equity in March, are closing the wage gap. Women are half of New York City’s workforce and population, “yet we have been short-changed by the very economic system that flourishes because of our contributions,” said Laurie A. Cumbo, City Council Majority [More...]

Women’s History Event at the Union, March 15

March 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Sisters and brothers in today’s labor movement are invited to lean in at a special International Women’s Month event presented by the DC 37 Women’s Committee as Local 420 President Carmen Charles hosts an evening of conversation with Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP NY Conference, on Friday March 15 at union headquarters from 6 to 8 p.m. Ms. Dukes blazed trails in New York suburbs fighting poverty, housing discrimination and racial bias. She cracked the glass ceiling as the first woman president of a statewide chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was the first black woman to head NYC OTB. Ms. Dukes is a longtime ally and advocate on issues important to DC 37 and labor unions. Unabashed and unapologetic, Hazel Dukes is a vibrant octogenarian who continues to fight for access to better education, quality [More...]

Magazine Honors Local 420 President Carmen Charles

January 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS City & State magazine named Carmen Charles, the president of New York City Hospital Employees Local 420 and a DC 37 vice president, one of its Responsible 100 Honorees at its annual ceremony Dec. 14 for 100 of New York’s most outstanding corporate citizens. “I am deeply moved to be counted alongside New York City’s First Lady Charlaine McCray and NAACP state chapter chair Hazel Dukes,” Charles said. “The members of Local 420 have given me the greatest opportunity as their president to be on the front lines in the fight for better public health care and a healthier city. “This is no easy task,” Charles said. “The work my members do is in no way glamorous. We are over 8,000 strong– dedicated city workers who provide round-the-clock care at NYC Health and Hospitals facilities, clinics and nursing homes.” Charles said, “We help the sick and [More...]