Henry Garrido

Labor Confronts a Post-Janus Future

April 7, 2018 // 3 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The anti-union case before the U.S. Supreme Court — Janus v. AFSCME — has led to a lot of soul searching about improving labor’s way of doing business in the future. A ruling in favor of the plaintiff Mark Janus would allow non-members to receive union services for free without paying dues. This would deliver a tremendous financial blow to public employee unions, undermining their ability to provide services and use their political power to protect the interests of working families. On March 19, DC 37 hosted a meeting of labor leaders, public officials and academics convened by Public Advocate Letitia James that examined the implications of Janus v. AFSCME, which the right-wing hopes will defund unions and ultimately politically destroy them. “Let’s look at our own institutions,” said Vincent Alvarez, president of the AFL-CIO’s New York City Central [More...]

Labor’s Black History Makers

March 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Black History Month began with a ribbon-cutting and opening night dedicated to “The African-American Experience in the Labor Movement.” “We chose to honor our First Lady of Labor, Lillian Roberts, who has devoted more than 60 years to the labor movement. No other person alive today embodies our theme this year as Lillian Roberts does,” said Deborah Pitts, the Black History Committee chair who is the union’s secretary and president of Local 1113. “As an organizer and union leader, Lillian broke through glass ceilings and brick walls to build our mighty union, empowering women and including working families’ needs in labor’s fight for dignity and fair wages.” Throughout February locals honored extraordinary labor leaders, past and present, including Ms. Roberts, retired American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employeees Secretary-Treasurer [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...]

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...]

Hillary For President

October 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO We believe Hillary Clinton — a longtime friend of this union and the labor movement — is the best choice for workers in this year’s presidential election. Arguably the most prepared presidential candidate in modern times, she would bring a long history of supporting working family issues to the White House. She has devoted her career to public service, and we can count on her to stand up to the deep-pocketed interests that want to destroy unions, take away worker rights and privatize government services. As a U.S. senator from our state, Clinton played an important role in securing health-care funding for first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. “When I’m president, working people will always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House,” [More...]

Henry Garrido Receives Civic Champion Award From City Limits Magazine

September 28, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido was awarded the first Civic Champion award by the magazine City Limits during their gala 40th Anniversary event in downtown Manhattan. City Limits Editor Jarrett Murphy presented the award to Garrido for his long-term service to the labor movement and his tenure as leader of the city’s largest municipal employees union. Garrido was introduced by Queens City Council member and Finance Committee chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. Veteran journalist Wayne Barrett was recognized for his 40 years of investigative reporting with the City Limits Urban Journalism Award. Since the end of 2014, when he replaced now-retired Executive Director Lillian Roberts, Garrido led DC 37 through a successful contract campaign for DC 37 workers at the City University of New York, and was instrumental in creating an ongoing organizing campaign that increased [More...]

Trump: No Friend of Workers

September 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump portrays himself as a champion of the financially suffering middle class and disaffected blue-collar workers. He can say what he wants. But I agree with Vice President Joe Biden, who says Trump’s claim to be the “people’s candidate” is “a bunch of malarkey.” When you examine Trump’s qualifications for the job of president and his policies, it becomes quite clear that he is unfit to be president and that his interests don’t coincide with ours. A business background does not mean you’re necessarily prepared to run a government. Business is about profits. Government is about providing services. Many foreign policy experts believe Trump doesn’t have the background or temperament to represent the United States on the global stage. They are also wary [More...]

DC 37 Executive Director and Local 371 President Elected to Serve on National Union’s Board

August 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The District Council 37 delegate body unanimously elected DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Social Service Employees Union Local 371 President Anthony Wells international vice presidents of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees at the 42nd AFSCME Convention last month. AFSCME international vice presidents (IVPs) determine the union’s agenda,  policies and procedures, and they weigh in on major national issues, such as privatization, fair taxes, health care and pensions affecting 1.6 million members and retirees that AFSCME represents in more than 3,400 local unions and 58 councils and affiliates in 46 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. “I am deeply appreciative of the tremendous confidence the DC 37 delegates have placed in me and the unity they have shown. Now let’s go and get work done!” said Garrido. Union [More...]

In Defense of Public Health Care

June 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed a sensible rescue plan for our city’s public hospital system. His plan addresses the system’s financial crisis without hospital closings and layoffs. The $2 billion plan charts a course for NYC Health + Hospitals to meet the challenges posed by major changes to the health-care sector throughout the country. But critics are calling for cuts that would hinder services and slash jobs. Charles Brecher, the research director for the Citizens Budget Commission said, “Transforming this system can’t be done without making painful choices.” Daily News columnist Errol Louis wrote: “De Blasio has promised that no hospitals will be closed and no personnel will be laid off…. One wonders when and how any real savings will ever happen if the administration refuses to bite the [More...]

Fighting For Fair Budgets

May 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO As part of a coalition we played an important role in stopping nearly $1 billion in combined cuts in the state budget to the City University of New York and the city’s public hospitals. The fight-back is an example of how we participate in the political process to protect our jobs and the services we provide. The campaign involved demonstrations, lobbying, and social media, including collecting thousands of signatures for an on-line petition. Now that the Albany fight is over, we focus our attention on the city’s budget. We expect a busy couple of months ahead as the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio work out an agreement on the budget, which should be signed by the end of June. We have a number of priorities for the city’s fiscal 2017 budget that I want to share with you. ● We seek $65 million more [More...]