unions

The Right-wing Bradley Foundation Plots to Destroy Unions

October 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES A right-wing network of foundations and front groups has spent decades trying to wipe out unions. One of those anti-union foundations is the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. A few years ago, the foundation helped Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker successfully attack public employees and withstand a union-led recall effort. Walker’s chief targets were the teachers union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, DC 37’s national union. Today, the “Wisconsin Model” — whose core goals are weakening collective bargaining, defunding unions, restricting workplace rights, promoting school vouchers, and backing right-to-work legislation — provides the blueprint for anti-labor and anti-government initiatives around the country. “We are up against a conservative network that is sinking millions and millions of dollars into [More...]

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...]

Fight Cuts to Workers’ Compensation! Take Action Now!

September 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is taking part in an all-out effort to fight proposed changes to workers’ compensation system in New York State, changes that affect all workers injured on the job. The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board has proposed medical treatment guidelines and regulations that would eliminate monetary awards for dozens of arm and leg injuries, while also denying workers the right to have an independent medical examination. The change would also deny benefits and care to workers injured on the job who fail to answer all the questions posed by an employer’s medical examiner. Workers’ compensation, which has been on the books in New York for a century, is being threatened by right-wing business interests, such as the Business Council, which was able to pressure the state Workers’ Compensation Board to issue proposed changes to longstanding regulations earlier this [More...]

Workers on Janus: A Political Effort to Further Rig the Rules Against Working People

September 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

On Sept. 28, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This court case 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. The following statement was issued by members and leaders of AFSCME, AFT, NEA, and SEIU – the nation’s four largest public sector unions – in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant Certiorari in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31: The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people. The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the [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...]

Parks Worker Facing Deportation Released from Detention

August 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Jose Molina is back on the job restoring Bronx ball fields for the New York City Parks and Recreation Dept. after the Local 983 member was detained almost a month after reporting to Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza. Four years of liberty ended for no apparent reason, his lawyers said, after Molina dropped off his passport July 13 and told his deportation officer of his next court date in May 2018. He was moved to the Varick Street federal detention center for deportation. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido , Local 983 President Joe Puleo, City Council members Carlos Menchaca and Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other elected officials and immigration advocates called for Molina’s immediate release. Molina was freed on Aug. 8. Molina, a dedicated Associate Parks Service Worker, is glad to clear another legal hurdle in his fight [More...]

Book Review: Beyond the $15 an Hour Movement and the Revival of Labor

July 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MOLLY CHARBONEAU How to build genuine trust among labor, faith and community partners to create a powerful movement is the universal message of Jonathan Rosenblum’s new book, “Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists and the Revival of the Labor Movement.” Rosenblum directed a groundbreaking Service Employees International Union campaign for a $15 minimum wage in the Seattle-Tacoma area — the first major initiative in the country to win this demand. Soon after, the Fight for $15 — which began when 100 fast-food workers walked off their jobs in New York City in 2012 — exploded nationwide. “But the campaign was about a lot more than just fair wages,” Rosenblum said. “It was, at its core, a struggle against the maldistribution of power in society.”This vision, echoing the earlier Occupy movement, attracted community and faith partners to the fight. In “Beyond [More...]

“Many are now afraid to sign up for insurance because of President Trump’s agenda against immigrants.”

July 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

Candido “Candy” Ramos, Certified Application Counselor, Local 1549 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera One of the worst feelings possible is when you are in need of help and those people who could assist you refuse to do so. I have experienced this in my life and it is the reason why I love the job that I have, a career that revolves around helping people with something that they cannot take for granted — their health. Not only is it my job to help people when they need it, but I want to help people when they need it. I want them to never experience the kind of hopelessness I had to when I was on the other side of the table. As a Certified Application Counselor at New York City’s Department of Human Resources and Administration, I spend my days signing people up for medical coverage through either Medicaid or other affordable coverages. People tend to think that health insurance is too [More...]

Local 983 Member Jose Molina Detained by Federal Immigration Authorities

July 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 Local 983 member Jose Molina was detained July 13 after going to 26 Federal Plaza to simply drop off his passport and tell his deportation officer of his next court date in May 2018. Instead, after four years at liberty, and for no apparent reason, Molina was re-detained. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 983 President Joe Puleo, City Council members Carlos Menchaca and Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other elected leaders and immigration advocates support Molina and are calling for his immediate release. Mr. Molina came to the United States as a lawful permanent resident from Panama when he was an 18-month-old infant — 38 years ago. He grew up in Brooklyn and has a wife and two young children. His story first appeared in the Public Employee Press in May and July-August 2017. A dedicated Associate Parks Service [More...]