PEP Mar Apr 2019

Union Helps Homeless Member Start Over

February 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Morris Johnson lived in two rooms in a rambling old house he shared with longtime friends that he considered family. “We lived like close family. I paid my $550 rent every month,” said Johnson, a Local 420 Institutional Aide since 2005. The house where Johnson lived was in an East New York neighborhood bordered by elevated train lines, just down the hill from the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Brooklyn’s Evergreen Cemetery. It was Johnson’s home for more than a decade. Until it wasn’t. “I’m blindsided,” said Johnson, 65, who bikes to work each day at the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene in Long Island City. “I came home to find the sheriff locked the house. The family– a mother and her three grown children — cut out,” Johnson said. In January the house was foreclosed, and seized by the bank. “They never said a word to me about their [More...]

The Union’s Tow Operators Tame City Traffic

February 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Standing with a dozen tow truck operators from Motor Vehicle Operators Local 983, Mayor de Blasio announced that the Police Department will dedicate tow trucks to remove vehicles illegally parked in or blocking bus lanes. For the first time the NYPD will assign at least one tow truck in each borough dedicated to clearing blocked traffic and bus lanes. “To comply with the mayor’s initiative, our members who are NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent 3s and tow operators will step up and ticket and remove vehicles from bus lanes and bus stops in all five boroughs,” said Local 983 Vice President Marvin Robbins. At the January announcement, the mayor explained that the primary goal of the tow operation is to improve transit times around the city. He projects towing illegally parked vehicles from bus lanes will speed transportation up by 25 percent, making it easier for [More...]

Local 1549 Conference: A Call to Action

January 31, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES About 200 shop stewards, activists and union leaders attended Local 1549’s annual conference on advocacy and political action on Jan. 26. Each year, the local holds the conference reviews its political and legislative priorities. Its purpose is to educate shop stewards and chapter chairs about key and critical issues, giving them background information to share with their coworkers. But beyond spelling out the local’s agenda, the conference serves as a call to action. Local leaders and panelists reinforce to conferees the importance of getting involved in politics and community issues—in addition to being the voice of the union in their workplaces. “We have to protect each other,” said Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez. Local 1549’s 2019 agenda includes: The 911 surcharge. Winning back jobs taken over by the state to the Human Resources [More...]