local 1549

Members Outraged by Radical Right’s Anti-Union Campaign

September 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members are angry that, in the wake of a politically charged U.S. Supreme Court attack on unions, wannabe union-busters are trying to dupe New York City public employees into giving up their rights. Janus v. AFSCME capped a decades-long effort by a nationwide anti-labor network to cripple public employee unions, cut government services and support anti-worker state legislators and governors throughout the country. A group calling itself NewChoice NY — which is supported by the Koch brothers and other ultra-rich labor foes — recently sent out an email blast to a total of 500,000 New York public employees — including DC 37 members — at their workplaces, trying to cajole public employees to leave their union. DC 37 also received reports of home visits by right-wing network representatives. “They try to sound as if they’re just doing workers a favor by [More...]

Nigerian Labor Activists Visit DC 37

July 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO A delegation of labor activists representing Nigerian public and private unions arrived at DC 37 to share and exchange ideas in a time of a changing environment for labor worldwide. “It’s an honor to be able to get to know these Nigerian union leaders from their country’s public sector,” said Fitz Reid, president of Local 768. Reid was able to sit down and talk with the activists during their visit to DC 37 on June 28. DC 37 and Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez was also part of the union’s welcoming committee. Among the group of 11 activists were Alade Bashir Lawal, secretary general of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria and Bobboi Bala Kaigama, president-general of Nigeria’s Trade Union Congress. The visit of the Nigerian delegation to the United States was coordinated by Prof. Mike Merrill of the Rutgers Labor Education Center. The [More...]

Public Employees Aren’t “Leeches”

April 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By RALPH PALLADINO As public employees, we have targets on our backs. Right-wingers like President Trump say we are taking from the “job creators,” meaning the 1 percent. They say we have no value and the people receiving the benefits we work hard to provide are freeloaders interested in getting what they describe as “free stuff.” Fifteen years ago, while attending a union conference in a Washington, D.C., hotel, I wandered into a room where a “think tank” was coming up with ways to destroy unions — especially public employee unions. I picked up a document describing those who work in public service as “leeches.” Public employees work mainly in life-saving programs such as Food Stamps in SNAP and Medicaid, both of which are in the Human Resources Administration. We also work in public hospitals in NYC Health+Hospitals. The vast majority of people receiving those [More...]

Our Union: Fighting Together for Dignity and Respect

March 28, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALMA ROPER When I reflect on what is important in life, I always include the union. For many years union members like us have fought for, and won, many of the rights that we have as city workers. Many have died in the fight for union rights. For 74 years, District Council 37 has played a profound role in shaping how Americans live and work. DC 37 has been a pioneer in exploring new ways to serve its members, providing career ladders to tens of thousands of members, while offering a wide range of health, education, and legal benefits. On March 25, we remember the 107th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that claimed the lives of more than 146 workers. Out of this tragedy, new workplace safety laws were enacted, creating a turning point in the labor movement. On April 4, we commemorate 50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King traveled to [More...]

Local 1549 Members are Ready to Repel a Right-wing Effort to Kill Off Public Employee Unions

February 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Local 1549 members met to prepare a fight back against the efforts of right-wing groups to destroy public service unions and dismantle government services. During the conference held on Feb. 3, union leaders briefed members about the U.S. Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME. This case threatens to financially starve public sector unions by allowing workers who are not members to receive services for free. “We face perhaps the greatest attack in the history of unions,” Local 1549 Executive Vice President Alma Roper said. “We need to stand up and be strong.” Ralph Palladino, the local’s 2nd vice president, spoke of the threat posed by the right-wing network and the efforts of the Trump administration and the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress to deeply scale back funding for Medicaid and other services. After passing a new tax law that provides major cuts [More...]

When Terror Struck, DC 37 Members Responded

November 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 members were crucial first responders to the deadly rampage in lower Manhattan on Oct. 31 that claimed eight lives and sent eleven injured people to the hospital. Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident “an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.” Officials called it the deadliest terrorist attack in New York since thousands of lives were lost when the World Trade Center towers were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. Local 983 Urban Park Rangers in Hudson River Park first spotted a rental truck speeding southbound on the bicycle and jogging paths at Houston and West St. around 3 p.m. “They made the first calls to 9-1-1,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. The driver mercilessly plowed into pedestrians and cyclists along the West Street path. Victims laid strewn and broken among crumpled Citibikes. “In the [More...]

How NYPD 911 Operators Set Responses in Motion as Emergencies Like the Bronx Hospital Shooting Unfold

August 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GRAHAM RAYMAN It began with a panicked 911 call from a woman at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital routed to NYPD Operator Joann Tindal. Gunfire had erupted on the 16th floor. As the caller cowered in her dad’s hospital room, deranged ex-medical technician Henry Bello roamed the floor. He was armed with a rifle and on the hunt. For the next 11 wrenching minutes, Tindal patiently talked her through the chaos. Stay calm, stay quiet, the 911 operator told the woman. Lock the door. Keep everyone in the room. Joy at baby’s birth turned to fear during Bronx hospital shooting “You can stay on the phone with me if you want,” Tindal recalled telling the woman. “There were other people in the room with her and I was telling her to reassure them that help was on the way,” she told the Daily News. “This was the first time I had a call like that.” In another part of the sprawling [More...]

“You have to help and you have to heal. You have to give kind words to help people through the day.”

May 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

Clerical Associate 3 Olivia Crum-Owens, Local 1549 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I wanted to be like Nurse Hardy on the TV show General Hospital, so I enrolled in SEEK, a jobs program, at Hunter-Bellevue to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. I did well, but nursing was not like TV. I became an Office Aide at Harlem Hospital in 1972. From my very first day, I knew my rights because I took time to read the contract. Back then union dues were 50 cents a week. The Local 1549 president and someone from Wells Fargo Bank would come to our worksite every two weeks to collect union dues. Today we pay more than the $3 a month we did back then, but I still believe union dues are worth every penny. I transferred to Elmhurst Hospital in 1978; this way I didn’t have to take three trains just to get to work. A coworker once thought she could block me from using a certain bathroom. She told me it was [More...]

“I plan to encourage my grandchildren to become union members. That means fighting now to make sure the labor movement is still alive.”

May 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

Pam Sage, Clerical Associate 3, Local 1549 If you ever have the opportunity to take on new experiences that you can learn from and help people through, take it. That is the best advice I can give, and it’s the mindset that has brought me to work at four different New York City agencies over the past 33 years. It has been a blessing to have so many different chances to work for the city over the years, and to have my union, Local 1549, with me every step of the way. For the past eight years, I’ve been working at the Dept. of Sanitation as a Clerical Associate 3. We make sure the garbage trucks are where they’re supposed to be and everyone is safe. As long as I’ve been employed, my union has always supported me with any problems I’ve ever had both at work and in life. Last year, I decided it was time for me to start being more involved with my union. I became a shop steward so [More...]

Celebrating the “Everyday Woman”

March 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH LOPEZ Women’s History Month is not only an opportunity to honor the many women who have made historic contributions to the world, but it’s also a time to appreciate every woman’s unique input in daily life. Local 1549 recognized the “Everyday Woman” on March 4 at its Women’s History Month luncheon celebration. “We are all special in our own right,” said 1549 Women’s Committee Chairperson Tracye Hawthorne to the large crowd of women who are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and proud city workers and union members. “All women are strong and powerful. They make you and they can break you,” said Local 1549 and DC 37 President Eddie Rodriguez. Guests were treated to performances by the Wings of Glory Dance Missionary and the Local 1549 Choral Group, under the direction of 1549’s Executive Vice President Alma Roper. The program also honored women who [More...]