POLITICS

Union Organizes Against Constitutional Convention

October 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As the Nov. 7 elections  approach, DC 37 is stepping up its work with a coalition fighting against a ballot question on whether the state should hold a constitutional convention. Established earlier this year, New Yorkers Against Corruption is spreading the word about the danger of holding a convention, which would open the door for special interests to chip away at crucial protections and rights enshrined in the state constitution. The group’s campaign includes a media outreach and door-to-door canvassing. “A lot is at risk,” said Jordan Marks, the group’s campaign manager. “Voting rights. Criminal justice. Environmental protections. Women’s health and a lot more.” Besides working with the coalition, the union is also focusing on informing members about the constitutional convention. Polls show that the convention is not on the radar screen of most [More...]

Union Activists Demand More Aid for Puerto Rico

October 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Union activists from District Council 37, 32 BJ SEIU, and the Communication Workers of America joined elected officials at a rally at Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, demanding President Donald J. Trump and the federal government step up their recovery operations in Puerto Rico and cancel the island’s $72 billion debt. “We can’t afford to waste any more time,” said DC 37 and Local 1549 president Eddie Rodriguez at the lunchtime rally, across the street from Federal Plaza. “Our brothers and sisters on the island desperately need our help now.” Like many Puerto Ricans throughout the United States, Rodriguez has been unable to contact family members who live on the island. Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma and destroyed the island’s power grid. The Oct. 4 rally was organized by Vamos4PR, a coalition of union and community [More...]

Justice for Dreamers

October 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Many of us were morally outraged by President Donald J. Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA protects undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation and allows them to work and study here. The day after Trump’s Sept. 5 announcement, I joined New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorneys general of Massachusetts and Washington, young immigrants, nonprofit groups and private companies at a press conference to denounce the repeal. At the press conference, Schneiderman announced that he and eleven other state attorneys general would contest the Trump administration in court, charging that the DACA shutdown violated federal executive policy-making rules. Many immigrants understandably felt Trump’s decision to phase out DACA disrespected their community as well as [More...]

DC 37 Prepares for U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Against Public Employee Unions UPDATE: Court Will Hear Case

September 20, 2017 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE On Sept. 28, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to move forward on perhaps the most important case facing the labor movement in our lifetime. This case, Janus v. AFSCME, is expected to be heard during the court’s upcoming October term with a decision no later than next June. Janus is the latest attempt by anti-union forces to take away public workers’ hard-won freedoms to organize, negotiate for fair pay and working conditions, as well as to strip them of their benefits. Janus seeks to overturn the ability of unions to collect fees from agency fee payers, who enjoy the benefits of union representation without membership. A ruling may force public service workers’ unions into such a right-to-work environment. For the rich and powerful 1 percenters and corporate CEOs, a legal victory in Janus will hurt a union’s ability to fight on behalf of workers by allowing agency [More...]

A Fair Tax on the Wealthy

September 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Our city is engaged in a vibrant public discussion about the crisis at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. For the general public, the injury of dozens of people in the derailment of a subway in Manhattan in July underscored that the crisis is a matter of public safety. Riders are also fed up with high fares and delays. The MTA’s track signals date from a century ago, when the subway system was established, and the constant malfunctioning from this aging equipment causes delays. Straphangers are angry about the uncomfortable commutes in overcrowded subway trains and the crumbling infrastructure, including deteriorating stations. Elected officials and public transportation advocates are looking for solutions. We fully support a progressive plan that Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled in August. The de Blasio plan offers a sensible way to deal with short- and [More...]

DC 37-backed Candidates Win in Four Key City Council Races

September 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37’s activism helped determine the winners in the Democratic Primary elections earlier this week. “We focused our efforts in districts with high density DC 37 membership, communities where literally thousands of DC 37 members live,” said DC 37 Political Action director Jeremy John. Those areas include southeast Queens, central Brooklyn and northern Manhattan/the Bronx. An army of more than 200 DC 37 activists, volunteers and leaders began making phone calls and knocking on doors in July and helped provide the margin of victory for Mayor Bill deBlasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and numerous City Council candidates, in particular: Francisco Moya, District 21 (Queens) Adrienne Adams, District 28 (Queens) Alicka Samuel, District 41 (Brooklyn) Diana Ayala, District 8 (upper Manhattan/Bronx) Ayala took to Twitter on the day after the primary to express her [More...]

Volunteer to Become an Activist in Your Community, the Workplace and Politics!

August 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

“I convinced myself I didn’t have time to add a new responsibility to what’s already a pretty long “to do” list. But there are too many troubling things going on in the country right now and I believe that playing an active role in my union is a meaningful way to take a stand for my family, my community, my colleagues — and myself.” That is how Local 1549’s Teddy Jarrett describes becoming a DC 37 Volunteer Member Organizer (VMO). Despite their busy schedules, DC 37 members like Jarrett are getting involved in their union to help organize workplaces, strengthen alliances with community groups and back candidates who support working families. Their participation comes as public service workers are under fire around the country. Unless they get involved now, members risk losing rights that the union has built up over decades. Anti-labor politicians are passing legislation [More...]

An Anti-Labor Alliance of Evil

July 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

While investigations into alleged Russian collusion and interference in the 2016 elections are ongoing, the coverage of these events has smothered significant coverage of the Trump administration’s alliance with the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and the Byzantine network of 1 percent-funded anti-labor institutions. This alliance is now reaching the height of its power to achieve its goal to destroy the American labor movement. President Trump — despite his attempts to co-opt private-sector unions during his presidential campaign and through his decisions to move forward on the controversial Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines backed by construction and trade unions — has fooled no one who knows all too well the anti-labor sentiments of the easily distracted Twitter fetishist, real estate mogul and reality show television star. “The Donald” dangles pretty prizes and [More...]

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...]

DC 37 Members and Community Activists Demand More Support for Public Hospitals

June 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a series of NYC Health+Hospitals annual meetings in May and June, hundreds of union members and residents sent a powerful message: Do more to save public hospitals! Activists reminded NYC H+H of its mission: to provide quality health care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. As NYC H+H struggles to retain safe staffing levels, Leapfroggroup.com surveys show New York City’s public hospitals consistently provide better care than private hospitals. Employees said they work harder and longer with much less support, fewer supplies and dwindling staff due to attrition. “Working in constant crisis mode only leads to burnout,” said Nate Franco, a Local 768 member who spoke at Harlem Hospital’s packed forum on June 7. Dedicated NYC Health + Hospitals employees have staved off life-threatening outbreaks of Zika, Ebola, West Nile and Legionnaires disease, and [More...]