POLITICS

Stronger Together: DC 37, 1707 Unite

September 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

Private Sector Members Add to Union Power By GREGORY N. HEIRES and SARA HAAS New York labor history is being made this fall as District Council 1707, which represents 20,000 private-sector members, joins forces with District Council 37, the city’s largest public employees union. As a result, the six unions that made up DC 1707 — Locals 95, 107, 205, 215, 253, and 389 — will comprise a new, private-sector division  within DC 37, bringing DC 37’s total membership to 150,000. Each local union’s structure and leadership remain unchanged. “We are delighted to welcome these hardworking members, who provide vital services in the private sector to the city’s largest union of public employees,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This unification signals a new era in the fight for workers’ rights in New York.” “In unifying with our brothers and sisters at DC [More...]

DC 37 Offers Help to Workers Running for Political Office

September 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

  Do you have what it takes to run for political office? Will you be part of the change we need to fix the outdated and rigged system so working families can finally win? Our city needs more elected officials who understand the challenges working people face. DC 37 is leading the way, providing the tools, training and support for union members to run for political office. Join DC 37’s Emerging Leaders Candidate Training to learn effective campaign strategies and explore a wide range of topics that will prepare you to run and win! The first training session is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Oct. 5 at 125 Barclay St. in Room 1. Participating members must commit to all three Saturday classes of the training. The other sessions will be held  Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. Space is limited. You must register by Monday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m. to attend. Please contact Omi Harris by email  [More...]

Public Support for Unions Continues to Surge

August 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

Labor unions are continuing to gain momentum, with the latest proof coming from a new Gallup poll, which shows that 64 percent of Americans approve of unions, a near 50-year high. More and more people, regardless of political party, view unions as essential to levelling the playing field, providing economic security and unrigging a system that’s for too long favored the wealthy and powerful. Recent union momentum isn’t just a passing fad. It’s the result of workers facing the facts about how much more powerful a union can make them, and of a broader desire for the voice on the job that only comes with being a union member. “Despite relentless anti-union attacks from wealthy corporations, more and more people recognize that unions are a force for progress and national strength, improving the lives of all working families and their communities,” said President Lee Saunders, [More...]

Union, Advocates Fight Against Cuts to Library Budgets

May 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

Facing possible cuts in the city budget, DC 37 leaders of locals representing public library employees took to the steps of City Hall May 21 with the heads of the city’s three library systems, elected officials and advocates to warn of a dramatic impact should funding to the library systems be reduced– including loss of weekend service, reduced programming and delayed revitalization projects. “Our public libraries are lifelines for NYC neighborhoods – and cutting their budgets would jeopardize hours and days of service. We urge City Hall to find a way to keep what amounts to less than half of 1 percent of the city’s overall budget,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Libraries are the great equalizers in our society, and the most-equipped vehicle to a fairer and stronger City,” said Queens Public Library President Dennis M. Walcott, “We need increased [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...]

AFSCME Members Join Federal Workers in Rally to End Government Shutdown

January 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders and Janice Fridie (District Council 20). Photo Credit: Lorenzo Soto. AFSCME members today joined furloughed federal workers in Washington, D.C., to call for an end to the government shutdown. Altogether, thousands of people marched from the headquarters of the AFL-CIO in downtown D.C. to the White House, demanding that 800,000 federal workers return to their jobs and receive their paychecks. “This shutdown is hurting our families and our communities,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “Public health is jeopardized. Consumer protection is compromised. Many national parks are overrun with garbage. Food assistance for low-income families is at risk.” Saunders was one of two dozen speakers outside the AFL-CIO who urged President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to reopen the government. AFSCME represents about 3,000 federal workers. Janice [More...]

Health-Care of 350,000 Immigrants at Risk Under Trump’s Proposed Policy Changes

December 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 is working with a coalition of health-care advocates to try to stop the Trump administration from implementing a new policy that would cut more than $360 million in federal assistance for treating immigrant patients at NYC Health+Hospitals. President Donald Trump’s plan to slash federal assistance to immigrants deemed a fiscal burden to the state could affect as many as 350,000 immigrants who rely on NYC H+H for health-care coverage. The new policy would consider any immigrant deemed to be dependent on government assistance as a “public charge,” and ineligible for benefits. Today, only legal immigrants who use long-term care or welfare cash are considered burdens to the state. Expanding the meaning of “public charge” would jeopardize the government assistance of as many as 6.5 million American children nationwide, according to an Urban Institute [More...]

The Midterm Elections and Us

November 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO The midterm elections have shown that unions are a vital electoral force in our country and the United States is undergoing a political realignment that we hope will significantly improve the lives of working people. The recapturing of the U.S. House of Representatives by Democrats creates an important check on the excesses of the Trump administration. This allows us to push back against GOP lawmakers’ plan to gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; adopt trade agreements harmful to workers; dismantle Obamacare; repeal regulations, including worker protections, and pass more tax cuts to benefit corporations and the 1 percent. As we look ahead to President Trump’s campaign for a second term in 2020, we can expect a rocky road ahead. Many feel we face political warfare rather than compromise and constructive dialog over public policy. While it appears the [More...]

The Referendum on Trump

October 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

The mid-term elections on Nov. 6 are a referendum on President Trump. We say: “Vote no!” No to Trump’s policies that favor the wealthy and throw crumbs to the working class and poor. No to his lack of empathy, whether it’s for hurricane victims, sexually abused women or powerless immigrant children. No to the political lackeys who encourage his worst instincts and his bigoted attitudes. If extremists maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, Trump will ram through an anti-worker agenda that will cause pain and suffering for years to come. We cannot allow that. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to protect Medicare and Social Security. But Republicans are already saying that the skyrocketing debt caused by the lowering of taxes — most notably in favor of the rich — will force the government to reduce spending on both. Consider the [More...]

Local 1549 Shop Stewards Help Energize the Union

October 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES More than 200 shop stewards in Local 1549 are fired up about carrying the union message to the workplace after they spent the Columbus Day weekend at a training conference. The stewards had a full agenda at the gathering, whose theme was “Rise Up & Stay Strong Shop Steward.” They learned about communicating effectively with their coworkers, organizing members to strengthen the union, dealing with workplace conflict, and getting involved in politics. “The conference provided members with a wonderful opportunity to strengthen their skills in communicating with their coworkers and defending them in the workplace,” Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez said. “By gathering everyone in one place, the conference encouraged our stewards to interact and trade stories about what they do at work to be the voice of the union.” “We have this [More...]