Health and Safety, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, New York

Union Fighting to Save Jobs

October 11, 2020

By Ralph Palladino, 2nd VP Local 1549 DC 37 AFSCME

President Eddie Rodriguez assures you that we will do everything we can to make sure none of you loses your job because of layoffs. We will continue to fight to preserve our benefits. This economic crisis goes hand in hand with the COVID Pandemic. We are likely in a long-term battle to keep what we have fought for.

We need you to be active in this fight for the preservation of your own jobs and benefits. Members must contact their elected officials immediately as we asked you to do the past six months, and demand that the city be allowed to borrow money and raise revenues by taxing the very rich like New Jersey is doing

In the past six months we also have:

  • President Rodriguez and activists recently attended two rallies to stop layoffs, one at Foley Square pictured above. President Rodriguez spoke at that rally which was initiated by Local 983. He demanded that the city not lay off first responders. He demanded shared sacrifice saying the “rich people should pay their fair share of taxes” to raise revenues needed to save jobs and preserve hard-fought-for benefits.
  • We sent letters to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer documenting just what our First Responders’ jobs are in hospitals, 911, 311, SNAP-HRA, and OPA Payroll. We called for a stimulus package from Washington. But the President and Senate Majority Leader McConnell refuse to lift a finger to help our cities and states telling us in effect to “Drop Dead.”
  • We emailed Governor Cuomo, State Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Heastie giving them the same message. We told them to allow the city to borrow funds and tax the rich instead of laying off public servants. I testified at state and city hearings on the budget. President Rodriguez and Executive Vice President Alma Roper led a group of members including myself, Jim Hamlin-McLeod, and Diane Brown in meetings with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
  • 3rd Vice President Jamaica Johnson, who oversees communications for the local, put together an effective ad about our First Responders that appeared in the New York Daily News. We produced a film in early summer about the work done by the First Responders that we sent to elected officials.

We will continue this fight by demonstrating, contacting electing elected officials, and using the media until we make sure ALL of our members’, jobs are kept safe and benefits preserved intact. But it is up to you, the members to be involved in this process if we are going to prevail. You must also vote for change in Washington on November 3!


October 11, 2020

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