carmen charles

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...]