immigration

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...]

Facing Deportation, a DC 37 Member Wins a Reprieve

June 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A collective sigh of relief was heard earlier this week as Local 983’s Jose Molina won a reprieve from an immigration court judge. After requesting attorneys to file new briefs, the judge set a hearing date for late May 2018. “I am just so happy and relieved,” said Molina, who came to America as an infant and faces deportation to Panama for a crime he committed– and served time for– 20 years ago. For now the Associate Parks Service Worker remains stateside with his family and continues repairing and maintaining ball fields for the city’s Parks and Recreation Dept. Elected city leaders took a special interest in Molina’s case after reading about it in DC 37’s Public Employee Press. After the hearing, Jose, Jennifer and their 15-year-old daughter thanked the many supporters who packed the lower Manhattan courtroom, among them: Local 983 [More...]

When ICE Comes Knocking

May 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

Local 983’s Jose Molina turned his life around, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may deport the family man for a 20-year-old conviction. By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Loud pounding at 5:30 a.m. on a cold January morning in 2013 jolted Jose Molina and his family from their sleep. Molina’s wife, Jennifer, opened the door of their Bronx apartment. In the hallway stood five armed men. Within minutes, they were knocking over furniture and spilling out dresser drawers. The commotion frightened the Molina children, then ages 11 and 9, who began to cry as the strangers confined them to their bedrooms, out of the reassuring reach of their parents. The men surrounded Jose and Jennifer in their living room. She begged for an explanation. Then the men, officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), handcuffed Jose and led him away as his crying family watched. Since that cold, [More...]

Unions Mobilize on May Day Against Crackdown on Immigrant and Worker Rights

May 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Calling for the protection of immigrant and worker rights, DC 37 activists joined protesters in a march on May Day Demonstrators gathered for an evening rally on May 1 at Foley Square in lower Manhattan, before marching to Union Square to join another rally. During the protests, police arrested dozens of demonstrators. President Donald J. Trump was the subject of ire at the Foley Square rally, where speakers condemned his crackdown on immigrants, attacks on worker protections, and supporting policies that harm working families. “We will not allow him to stomp on the rights of immigrants, workers, Muslims, women and Jews,” Local 375 member Liz Eastman said. Demonstrators held placards with such messages as “New Yorkers for Immigrant Justice,” “No Ban, No Wall, No Raids,” “Resist Trump,” and “Defund ICE,” referring to the federal agency charged [More...]

Labor Gathers to Remember the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

March 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By BARBARA TERRELONGE Too often we suffer from historic amnesia, forgetting how we won the workplace protections we enjoy today. That’s why events like the commemoration of the 105th anniversary of the Triangle factory fire commemorated on March 24 are so important. At the same time, our remembrance of the fire is also a reminder that we continue to face workplace deaths — and that parallels exist between our challenges and those of workers more than 100 years ago. The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in 1911 was the worst industrial disaster in New York City. One hundred and forty six garment workers died in the fire. Most of the workers — 123  of the 146 who died in the blaze — were Jewish and Italian immigrant women. The fire was a scandal. The workers were trapped inside the building because the factory bosses kept the exit doors locked, supposedly to prevent theft. As a [More...]

DC 37 Launches “100 Days of Resistance” Campaign

February 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) They are coming for us. Today, Republicans introduced national “right-to-work” legislation. Last night, Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. These are just the latest assaults against labor emanating from the White House during the new president’s first 100 days in office, and we anticipate these attacks to intensify. Trump pledged to roll out his agenda right away, and he is moving at a quick pace, catching the progressive community off-guard. Through executive orders, [More...]

Garrido Speaks at an anti-Trump Rally in Manhattan on the Eve of the Inauguration

January 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE At a nighttime demonstration and rally on Jan. 19, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido demanded action to protect health care for millions of Americans, against the onslaught promised by President Donald J. Trump, and the expected repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a decision that threatens the health insurance of tens of millions of Americans. Citing the story of his grandmother, who was unable to receive affordable treatment for a rare form of cancer and had to leave her home in Virginia to receive treatment in Europe, Garrido spoke fiercely of the possible dangers ahead if the threatened repeal of Obamacare is carried out. “Are we going to allow this man [Trump] to take away our health care? Are we going to allow him to take away the health care for 30 million people without a replacement plan?” Garrido told the crowd. “Are we going to allow him to dismantle [More...]

The Mayor Visits DC 37 and Pledges to Fight Trump’s Agenda

November 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Since Donald Trump’s election, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been busy reaching out to New Yorkers at meetings all over the city, assuring them he plans to protect the city’s most vulnerable residents. After a town hall style meeting at Cooper Union on Monday, Nov. 21, the mayor came to DC 37 to address a meeting of union leaders the following evening. Before introducing the mayor, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido praised de Blasio for signing contract agreements with the majority of the city’s unions. “Today 99 percent of the unions have a contract and he deserves all of the credit for that,” said Garrido at the union’s monthly delegates meeting. Garrido also highlighted the mayor’s universal pre-kindergarten program and the extra funding for the public hospital system. “He’s making sure NYC Health + Hospitals is sustainable,” Garrido said. [More...]

DC 37 Celebrates Asian Heritage, With a Nod Toward Politics

May 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE With colorful dance, music and fanfare, the union’s Asian Heritage Committee kicked off its annual celebration at union headquarters before a packed house on May 20. The theme of the event was “Culture Moving Across the Boundaries,” a subject stressed by committee chair, Maf Misbah Uddin, DC 37 treasurer and president of Local 1407, in his welcoming address to the gathering. Highlighting the growth of the Asian American community in the last few decades and their vital contributions to U.S. society and the business community, Uddin said, “We have some of the most sophisticated physicians, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists in the entire world. We own businesses, educate our children and provide the United States with an outstanding number of talented individuals in all professions.” Later, Uddin referred to the presumptive Republican presidential [More...]