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Listen Now: Voices From the 2017 LP Leadership Awards

December 4, 2017

By Joe Maniscalco

This week’s episode of LaborPress’ Blue Collar Buzz is coming to you direct from Carpenters Union headquarters and the 2017

NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

LaborPress Leadership Awards. Sitting down at the table with us for a series of wide-ranging labor-themed discussions are CWA 1180 leader Arthur Cheliotes; Greater NY Chamber of Commerce President Mark Jaffe; Workers’ Comp attorney Don Crouch; OSA President Bob Croghan; labor lawyer Vincent Pita and NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

*Arthur Cheliotes, CWA Local 1180

“Certainly, New York City stands out in the nation as being a leader. Unfortunately, things throughout the nation don’t look too good. For the public sector unions, the forthcoming Supreme Court Case Janus v. AFSCME, looks like it’s not going to go our way. It’s part of a larger campaign. And there are more cases in the pipeline. This administration will appoint over 100 judges int he federal system who will eventually be ruling on cases like this.”

*Mark Jaffe, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce

“A lot of people often forget that in order to have a great democracy, you need good paying jobs. You need motivated, organized people. Owners sometimes neglect their workforce.  They see it as a fungible good.”

*Don Crouch, attorney, Workers’ Compensation 

“Sometimes, people like to bring up fraud a lot — there’s very little claimant fraud. In twenty-five years, if I had one or two people I’ve had suspicions about…that’s about it. Most people need the help, and they need to get it.”

*Bob Croghan, president, Organization of Staff Analysts 

“The doom & gloom part [of the Janus case] isn’t something that I’m not necessarily overwhelmed by. I’ve already explained to my fellow union presidents at the Municipal Labor Committee that once this is over with, there will be less money for us to make use of — but the truth of the matter is — we’ll probably like our members better. Because those will be the ones who choose to belong, who choose to cooperate, who choose to help each other out.”

*Vincent Pita, labor lawyer

“Starting with the meltdown in 2007, many private sector multi-employer funds lost 40 to 50 percent of their value — virtually overnight. Trying to get that value back is almost impossible.”

*Tom DiNapoli, NYS Comptroller 

“Probably the most import stick that we have is that we invest in many of the corporations. So, when we see a labor issue — and the Charter/Spectrum situation is one of them — we engage with the corporation as a shareholder and say that we are very concerned that the value of the company is compromised when you do not have labor peace. I wish I could report to you that our reaching out and our sending a letter has changed the dynamic — it hasn’t. But we’re still pushing.”

LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” airs every Sunday night on AM970 The Answer from 9 to 10 p.m. This week’s episode, as well as every other episode of LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” is also available on demand at www.am970theanswer.com.

December 4, 2017

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