POLITICS

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...]

Help the Union Get Out the Vote

September 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

When hardworking public employees and union members ask how the politics of this country got to where they are now, much of the answer can be found in the midterm elections of 2010. That’s when the progressive agenda of President Barack Obama was critically wounded by insufficient turnout and the extreme right-wing took over Congress and statehouses across the country. This time around, we have the opportunity to thwart Trump’s agenda of nurturing the ultra-wealthy and decimating public services, Medicare and Social Security. It begins with the Democratic Primary on Thursday, September 13. Please note the date. Customarily, we go to the polls on the second Tuesday of September, but out of respect for the memory of those who perished on 9/11, it has been changed. The union urges you to support the Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James for New York State [More...]

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...]

March to Fight Climate Change and Support Jobs, Justice

September 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 environmental activists are gearing up for a march on Thursday to protest against climate change and speak up for green jobs. Hundreds are expected to show up to “Rise for Climate Jobs & Justice,” occurring in advance of the four-day Global Action Summit in California later this month. The summit will bring together leaders and activists from around the world to accelerate action to put the brake on dangerous climate change and fulfill the Paris Agreement on the environment. “The Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice will begin at 6.pm. on Thursday, Sept. 6 in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. It will move north from the park. One of the march’s aims is to demand that New York elected officials step up the political pressure  to avert a climate catastrophe. Its principal demands of the demonstrators will be to call for: a just [More...]

Book Review: The Radical Right’s Plot to Take over America

August 31, 2018 // 0 Comments

  By KEN NASH The Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision in June and our current struggle over Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy are only the most recent manifestations of the Right’s decades-long game plan to not only unravel the New Deal of the 1930s and the civil rights revolution of the 1960s but also to establish property rights over democratic rights as the basis for our government. In “Democracy in Chains: the Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” Professor Nancy MacLean of Duke University traces the origins of this counterrevolution’s 60-year plan to eliminate unions, suppress voting rights, privatize public education, and stop action on climate change. The capitalist Right’s agenda is not only to alter specific legislation, court decisions or who gets elected but also to fundamentally alter [More...]

March With Us

August 21, 2018 // 1 Comment

The union invites you and your family to join with us on a very important day, Saturday, Sept. 8. When we march in the city’s Labor Day Parade, we do so to remember what it took to get there: the decades — in fact, more than a century — of at times heartbreaking struggles for unions to gain the power that it has. Things we take for granted, such as civil service protections, a guaranteed pension, a strong collective bargaining agreement, premium-free health care coverage, a safe workplace environment and a vast array of educational, housing and legal benefits, among others, are the culmination of the hard work and struggles of generations before–and this hard work of vigilance and fightback continues to this very day. The Saturday march offers an opportunity to celebrate those accomplishments, as well as an opportunity to show our gratitude for what we have gained over the [More...]

DC 37 Joins Rally in Philadelphia to Protest Trump’s Administration’s Abuse of Immigrants

August 17, 2018 // 1 Comment

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 members, immigration activists and union leaders traveled to Philadelphia for a rally to protest the abusive immigration policies of the Trump administration. Among the union leaders at the Aug. 15 rally at Penn’s Landing was Elissa McBride, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, DC 37’s parent union. McBride criticized the White House policies that have separated hundreds of children from their parents at the border. “A decent society does not traumatize children or treat people like caged animals,” McBride said. “The policy of zero tolerance is immoral and Trump should be in jail for it,” said Unite Here President D. Taylor. Unite Here — which represents workers in the food service, transportation and hospitality industry — was one of the main organizers of the rally. Members of the [More...]

Join DC 37 for a Rally Aug. 15 to Protest ICE Deportations

August 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

    By ALFREDO ALVARADO Union activists from the Northeast will gather in Philadelphia on Wed., Aug. 15 to rally and call for the end of deportations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and an end to President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration. “The administration is so extreme on immigration that they’re deporting the spouses of military veterans,” said Florida U.S. Congress member Darren Soto. And The Washington Post has reported that the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border has been unable to reunite 572 immigrant children with their parents. DC 37 activists will be joining Unite Here!, which represents workers in the hotel, food service and transportation industries, and other union and immigration activists at 4 p.m. at Penn’s Landing to call for an end to the Trump policies. In New York City, DC 37 has taken a [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...]