organizing

Our Union, Our Power

June 29, 2018 // 2 Comments

By MIKE LEE Capping what was perhaps was its most contentious and partisan session in modern history, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn precedent and establish so-called “right-to-work” in the public sector nationwide. The decision in Janus is the latest in a series of outrageous court, legislative and administrative actions pushed by a cabal of anti-union extremists to define the rules of the nation’s economy even more in favor of the 1 percent by trying to weaken the power of unions. At a City Hall press conference after Janus v. AFSCME was announced, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido was defiant. “Our lives will not be determined by a Supreme Court decision,” he said. “It is the desire of working people to stand up and collectively say we are stronger together and that in unity is our power. We shall not be stopped.” Later that afternoon, city unions [More...]

Statement by DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on the Janus v. AFSCME Decision

June 27, 2018 // 1 Comment

Today’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision smashes precedent and overturns the Court’s unanimous 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which upheld the maintaining of a union shop in a public workplace. Make no mistake: Janus v. AFSCME was always a politically-motivated case designed to rig the rules of the economy even more in favor of the privileged and powerful by weakening unions. What our country’s highest court did today was to, in effect, make so-called “right-to-work” the law of the land for public employees. Let’s remember what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said nearly 60 years ago about so-called “right-to-work” laws: “We must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by [More...]

Union Carries Out Town Hall Meetings

May 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which is expected by the end of June. If the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court rules against AFSCME, it could financially cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right to work state. “They’re paying as much as [More...]

Ready to Fight Back? Your Union Leads the Way

March 10, 2018 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE More than 100 DC 37 activists and leaders recently participated in Local Union Leadership Academy training sessions at union headquarters to sharpen skills needed to solve problems in the workplace and to engage and empower members. Among those in attendance were representatives from Locals 154, 768, 957, 1251, 1113, 1321 and 1655. The Leadership Academy is part of an ambitious, on-going effort to fortify our union at a time when a Supreme Court case threatens the freedom of American public sector workers. Stressing the importance of preparing leaders and key members for intensive work ahead, Grievance Rep Natasha Isma said, “This training is essential. It is your role as an activist to explain our history, and our benefits. You must share that—teach that. This is your call to action, and your efforts will make a difference for our members.” DC 37 Executive Director [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...]

New Year, New Round of DC 37 Lunch Time Info Sessions

January 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 has scheduled a new round of 2018 lunch time information events to thank members for their activism, strengthen the power of our collective voice and equip members with the tools necessary to move forward together. Volunteer Member Organizers like those pictured helped get out the vote to defeat the NYS Constitutional Convention in 2017 and elect DC 37-endorsed candidates. Continuing to protect worker rights and safeguard the union, along with engaging the union’s membership for the challenges ahead, will be at the top of the agenda for upcoming workplace activist sessions in 2018. “Workplace info sessions are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 Organizing Dept. “With more active members, our union will be stronger, whether that involves our involvement in a contract fight, [More...]

Building Political Power

December 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO We played an important role in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election and the defeat of the constitutional convention ballot question, achievements that capped a busy year. Before sharing some of my concerns about our future challenges, I wish to discuss our political mobilization in some depth because in many ways it captures the spirit of change we want to inculcate at DC 37. We worked almost a year on “con con.” We began by providing you with background information on the proposal, which threatened our pensions and right to bargain collectively. In the summer, we shifted into high gear as volunteer activists from the organizing and the political action departments visited members and retirees in their homes to inform them about the ballot question. On Election Day, an army of activists also made home visits. The home visits mark a difference in how our union [More...]

DC 37 Organizing Sets New Round of Lunch Time Info Sessions

November 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Organizing Department has scheduled upcoming lunch time information events to thank members for their activism, strengthen the power of our collective voice and equip members with the tools necessary to move forward together. Volunteer Member Organizers like those pictured helped get out the vote to defeat the NYS Constitutional Convention and elect DC 37-endorsed candidates. Continuing to protect worker rights and safeguard the union, along with engaging the union’s membership for the challenges ahead, will be at the top of the agenda for upcoming workplace activist sessions “Workplace info sessions are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 Organizing Dept. “With more active members, our union will be stronger, whether that involves our involvement in a contract fight, political activities, [More...]

Leading the Way: The Transformation of a Union

November 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union has embarked upon an ambitious, multi-year program to improve services, amplify the voice of members, expand organizing, engage activists, and reach out to the communities where our members live. With this effort, the union seeks to lead the way for the city’s labor movement, even as unions around the country are being targeted by deep-pocketed, right-wing, anti-government groups. These groups and their corporate and political allies have devoted decades to silencing the voices of working families. So far, their work has been successful: In the 1970s, nearly 35 percent of workers belonged to unions. That number has since plummeted to 10.4 percent this year. After decades of attacks, unions now only represent 6.4 percent of private-sector workers.Today, the network is turning its sights on public employees and their unions. A new model of unionism “We [More...]

DC 37 Organizing sets lunch time sessions and training for fall

October 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Organizing Department has scheduled fall lunch time information events this fall to strengthen the power of our collective voice and equip members with the tools necessary to move forward together. At the top of the agenda: voting “NO” on the New York State Constitutional Convention to protect worker rights and safeguard the pensions of members and retirees, and engaging the union’s membership on this and other issues. In addition, the next general activist training is scheduled for Nov. 2 at DC 37 union headquarters. A second session will be scheduled about two weeks after the first session. To register for the training or for more information, call DC 37 Organizing at (212) 815-1095.  “Workplace info sessions and activist training are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 [More...]