Union and Work Safety Activists Remember Triangle Fire Dead
Several hundred union activists and their supporters gathered in Greenwich Village, near Washington Square, to remember the deaths of 146 garment workers, mostly young women, and teenage girls, in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911. Young people retell the story of the tragic fire that galvanized the New York labor movement to succeed in pushing pro-labor and work safety laws and regulations in New York State and in the nation. By the end of this year, a memorial designed by architects Richard Joon Yoo and Uri Wegman will be installed at the building, standing at the Corner of Greene Street and Washington Place.
Human Services Workers Demand #JustPay
Human services workers jammed City Hall Park in lower Manhattan to demand a 6.5% cost of living adjustment in this year‘s city budget in a protest fueled by shutting down facilities for one day to prove to the City their vital importance in providing essential care. The May 25 rally included members from the five locals in DC 37’s Non-Profit and Private Sector Division who work among some of the 100 organizations that participated in the demonstration. Private sector human services workers are among the lowest paid in the City’s workforce, with wages only slightly above the poverty level.
Union, DEP Leads Watershed Maintainer Program to Protect City’s Water
District Council 37, in partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, has developed an apprentice program for Watershed Maintainers and Local 983 City Seasonal Aides. This innovative program trains workers for hard-to-fill titles in upstate New York. Watershed Maintainers perform duties involving New York City’s complex network of reservoirs, aqueducts, groundwater, and related systems. Pictured, front row: Local 376 and 1322 Department of Environmental Protection workers. Back row: Local 983 Recording Secretary Donald Chapman and Sergeant-At-Arms Ralph Baselice, with Mark Heron, DC 37 Assistant Director of Research & Negotiations.
A Job Well Done After 30 Years of Service
Luznereida Tirado, a Custodial Assistant Employees Local 1597 member, worked 30 years for the City as a Custodian at the College of Staten Island, keeping the campus clean for the faculty and students.
A dedicated worker, she was honored by the College as Employee of the Month in November 2015. At the end of May, Tirado retired from her service as an essential public worker.
We congratulate her for her hard work and wish her a happy retirement!
Local 372 Rallies to Protect School Crossing Guard Positions
Local 372 rallied to save 484 vacant School Crossing Guard positions threatened by proposed cuts to save money during the City budget process. At the June 5 rally in lower Manhattan, union leaders, activists, and School Crossing Guards demanded the vacant positions be restored.
“Let me be clear: our children need a sufficient number of guards at every school corner to keep them safe and protected. Cutting vacant positions and hindering future hiring to fill gaps in the budget sets a dangerous precedent in our communities,” said Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I, also DC 37 President.
The City’s School Crossing Guards protect approximately 1 million children enrolled in the public school system, keeping them safe to and from school and preventing traffic accidents in the surrounding areas. Retired School Crossing Guard Cynthia Edwards (pictured) spoke about her experience serving the community and the importance of keeping kids safe.
Women’s Leadership Academy Graduates Tenth Cohort
The Lillian Roberts Women’s Leadership Academy graduated its 10th cohort on May 20. Since the first class graduated in 2019, the Academy has focused on mentoring and training union women to become DC 37’s future leaders. District Council 37 local leaders, including Carmen De León of Local 768 and Laura Morand of Local 2627, spoke of women’s critical role in leading the union movement. AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride also gave an inspirational speech on the importance of using what the students learned to create new opportunities to build labor efforts in the workplace and our communities.
This Retiree Never Quits
Steven Beck, a retired Grievance Rep for Civil Service Technical Guild Local 375, remains active by showing solidarity with the union movement and participating in labor actions.
On May 24, he stood with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in support of the Writers Guild strike in Midtown Manhattan.
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