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Padres & Jovenes Unidos - Wed, 09/16/2015 - 5:08pm
Address: CO
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

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Padres & Jovenes Unidos - Tue, 09/15/2015 - 10:40pm
Address: CO
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

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Padres & Jovenes Unidos - Tue, 09/15/2015 - 12:23pm
Address: CO
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

CAAAV Releases First-Ever Report on Asian NYCHA Tenants’ Expereicnes

CAAAV - Mon, 09/14/2015 - 3:05pm

 

“No Access: The Need for Improved Language Assistance Services for Limited English Proficient Asian Tenants of NYCHA”

 

This report documents the experiences of low-income, limited-English proficient Asian public housing residents, and the barriers they face to receiving adequate language access services from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), including interpretation, written materials and access to repairs.

With 20,000 Asian residents, Asian immigrants are a fast growing community moving into public housing citywide. We want to ensure language justice and engagement of the thousands of limited English proficient residents in the larger fight to improve conditions, build community, and preserve public housing.

 

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Of Asian public-housing tenants who had a need for written translation of a housing-related document, fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) connected with NYCHA to request services.
  • Of non-English speaking tenants who called the Customer Contact Center (CCC) to request a repair, more than 70% had not been able to talk to someone who spoke their language.
  • NYCHA has a small language access staff–only six people for the entirety of NYCHA population (over 400,000 people). Only two of these staff people speak an Asian language (Cantonese and Mandarin).

 

Check out our full report (English), with policy recommendations. Executive Summaries of the report are also available in:

 

Our NYCHA tenant leaders will use the report findings to launch a campaign to hold NYCHA accountable. To follow their campaign, SIGN UP for our newsletter.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Join us this Thursday!

We will be having a meeting @ the office Thursday 9/17 @ 7pm open to everyone who’s interested in PCASC and our work! Come and learn more about our current campaigns in Colombia, Honduras and Chile as well as community collaboration work to stop North West detention centers. If you have something you would like to bring to the meeting please send an email to coreteam@pcasc.net

See you soon!

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Calling for #JustBorders Here & Around the Globe

NNIRR - Fri, 09/11/2015 - 3:44pm
Story Type:  Blog Story Publisher:  NNIRR

Over the next few years, NNIRR is committing to lift up the migration situation at borders, beginning with spotlighting the conditions and enforcem

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Just Borders

NNIRR - Fri, 09/11/2015 - 3:39pm
Subtitle:  Human Rights, Dignity & Safety for All Migrants Link Path:  http://www.nnirr.org/drupal/campaign-border-justice Sort Order:  1
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

NNIRR Board Road Trip to South Texas

NNIRR - Fri, 09/11/2015 - 2:12pm
Story Type:  Blog Story Publisher:  NNIRR

At the end of June, members of NNIRR’s Board of Directors traveled to South Texas to meet with partners and allies and to visit key sites along the border. We thought this shared experience and connection with border colleagues would be important as we gear up for our Just Borders initiative, to spotlight border issues nationwide…

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

"Reclaiming Labor Day" speech by VWC President Ellen Schwartz

VWC - Tue, 09/08/2015 - 12:16pm

Yesterday, VWC President Ellen Schwartz gave this speech at the 2015 Burlington Labor Day celebration:

Twelve years before President Grover Cleveland established the Labor Day holiday, Matthew Maguire -- a machinists’ union leader and socialist from Paterson NJ and one of the organizers of the Central Labor Union of NY -- proposed a “Mammoth Festival, Parade, and Pic-Nic.”

On Sept 5th, 1882, thousands of workers paraded up Fifth Avenue -- past mansions, hotels, restaurants, and shops serving the millionaires of New York. In the era of the 12-hour day and child labor, many gave up a day’s pay and risked firing in order to participate.

Labor Day became an official holiday eight years after the Haymarket Massacre and just months after the Pullman strike and boycott, a wildcat strike that became the largest strike in U.S. history. In June of 1894 President Cleveland dispatched federal troops to break the strike and boycott of Pullman, turning what had been a peaceful labor action into acts of resistance to state violence. Just three months later, this same president designated Labor Day as a federal holiday to conciliate organized labor and to cleverly ensure that May 1--with its associations with the Haymarket Martyrs--didn’t become the official workers’ holiday.

Today we can reclaim Labor Day as a celebration of workers’ struggles and victories. We know that every inch we gain is hard fought -- whether that is the right of bus drivers to safe scheduling, the right of migrant farm workers to dignified conditions and wages, the right of Howard Center workers to viable wages and working conditions, or the right of nurses to decent pay and safe staffing. And ultimately, the right of ALL workers to livable wages and conditions that recognize our human dignity.

To reclaim Labor Day means recommitting ourselves to the work ahead. It means standing in solidarity with our union sisters and brothers in their struggles for fair contracts. It means supporting adjunct faculty who are, as we speak, fighting for decent contracts, and equally supporting students and recent graduates saddled with massive debt, and putting people over profits in the college dining halls. It means pushing back against the so-called austerity budget that understaffs state departments, freezes state workers’ wages, and underserves the people who count on these workers to provide needed services. It means ensuring that healthcare is truly universal and equitably financed by making healthcare a public good and getting it out of the grasp of the corporate healthcare industry that treats our bodies as tradable commodities on the corporate marketplace.

To reclaim Labor Day means standing up against the destruction and desecration of our planet and against environmental racism. It means taking action against white supremacy. In the words of Alicia Garza, one of the founders of BLM and an organizer with the National Domestic Workers Alliance: “the state apparatus has built a program of genocide and repression mostly on the backs of Black people—beginning with the theft of millions of people for free labor—and then adapted it to control, murder, and profit off of other communities of color and immigrant communities.” We know that only too well in Vermont.

The VWC congratulates workers who have had recent contract and organizing victories: the nurses at UVM Medical, the workers at City Market, and the farm workers in Migrant Justice. We stand in solidarity with workers who are currently engaged in contract struggles: adjunct faculty at St. Mike’s, Burlington College & Champlain College, homecare workers in AFSCME, and the techs at UVM Medical.

At the Workers’ Center we have long known that workers must organize at the workplace and that we also need to organize in our communities to change the power dynamic. We are organizing throughout the state through our Healthcare Is A Human Right campaign to win universal healthcare, and we will be launching statewide organizing for work with dignity as well. On May Day of 2016 we will be holding Vermont’s second People’s Convention, bringing together activists for social, economic, racial, disability, and environmental justice from across Vermont and beyond. We invite you to come to our table, to join the Workers’ Center, to come to the People’s Convention and help build the movement!

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

"Reclaiming Labor Day" speech by VWC President Ellen Schwartz

VWC - Tue, 09/08/2015 - 12:16pm

Yesterday, VWC President Ellen Schwartz gave this speech at the 2015 Burlington Labor Day celebration:

Twelve years before President Grover Cleveland established the Labor Day holiday, Matthew Maguire -- a machinists’ union leader and socialist from Paterson NJ and one of the organizers of the Central Labor Union of NY -- proposed a “Mammoth Festival, Parade, and Pic-Nic.”

On Sept 5th, 1882, thousands of workers paraded up Fifth Avenue -- past mansions, hotels, restaurants, and shops serving the millionaires of New York. In the era of the 12-hour day and child labor, many gave up a day’s pay and risked firing in order to participate.

Labor Day became an official holiday eight years after the Haymarket Massacre and just months after the Pullman strike and boycott, a wildcat strike that became the largest strike in U.S. history. In June of 1894 President Cleveland dispatched federal troops to break the strike and boycott of Pullman, turning what had been a peaceful labor action into acts of resistance to state violence. Just three months later, this same president designated Labor Day as a federal holiday to conciliate organized labor and to cleverly ensure that May 1--with its associations with the Haymarket Martyrs--didn’t become the official workers’ holiday.

Today we can reclaim Labor Day as a celebration of workers’ struggles and victories. We know that every inch we gain is hard fought -- whether that is the right of bus drivers to safe scheduling, the right of migrant farm workers to dignified conditions and wages, the right of Howard Center workers to viable wages and working conditions, or the right of nurses to decent pay and safe staffing. And ultimately, the right of ALL workers to livable wages and conditions that recognize our human dignity.

To reclaim Labor Day means recommitting ourselves to the work ahead. It means standing in solidarity with our union sisters and brothers in their struggles for fair contracts. It means supporting adjunct faculty who are, as we speak, fighting for decent contracts, and equally supporting students and recent graduates saddled with massive debt, and putting people over profits in the college dining halls. It means pushing back against the so-called austerity budget that understaffs state departments, freezes state workers’ wages, and underserves the people who count on these workers to provide needed services. It means ensuring that healthcare is truly universal and equitably financed by making healthcare a public good and getting it out of the grasp of the corporate healthcare industry that treats our bodies as tradable commodities on the corporate marketplace.

To reclaim Labor Day means standing up against the destruction and desecration of our planet and against environmental racism. It means taking action against white supremacy. In the words of Alicia Garza, one of the founders of BLM and an organizer with the National Domestic Workers Alliance: “the state apparatus has built a program of genocide and repression mostly on the backs of Black people—beginning with the theft of millions of people for free labor—and then adapted it to control, murder, and profit off of other communities of color and immigrant communities.” We know that only too well in Vermont.

The VWC congratulates workers who have had recent contract and organizing victories: the nurses at UVM Medical, the workers at City Market, and the farm workers in Migrant Justice. We stand in solidarity with workers who are currently engaged in contract struggles: adjunct faculty at St. Mike’s, Burlington College & Champlain College, homecare workers in AFSCME, and the techs at UVM Medical.

At the Workers’ Center we have long known that workers must organize at the workplace and that we also need to organize in our communities to change the power dynamic. We are organizing throughout the state through our Healthcare Is A Human Right campaign to win universal healthcare, and we will be launching statewide organizing for work with dignity as well. On May Day of 2016 we will be holding Vermont’s second People’s Convention, bringing together activists for social, economic, racial, disability, and environmental justice from across Vermont and beyond. We invite you to come to our table, to join the Workers’ Center, to come to the People’s Convention and help build the movement!

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Community Voices Heard 20th Anniversary Shirley Chisholm Lights of Freedom Awards

CVH - Mon, 09/07/2015 - 12:42pm
Monday, September 28, 2015 - 6:30pm to 10:00pm RSVP on Facebook

El Museo Del Barrio
1230 5th Ave
New York, NY 10029

Get your tickets as soon as possible! 

We have 4 Amazing Honorees! 

Henry Garrido- DC37
The New York Women's Foundation
HRA Commissioner Steve Banks 
Tyletha Samuels- Longtime Activist and CVH Board Member

Tickets till September 15th are $100 after September 15th it will be $125

Ticket prices for CVH dues paying members are $50

Sponsorships are also available!

The Sponsorship rates are: 
Visionary $ 10,000 (10 tickets, front/back page journal ad & signage at the event) 
Champion $ 7,500 (8 tickets, a full page journal ad, & signage at the event)
Activist $ 5,000 (6 tickets, a half page journal ad, & signage at the event) 
Friend $ 2,500 (4 tickets, a quarter page journal ad, & signage at the event)
Partner $ 1,000 (3 tickets, business card ad, & signage at the event)
Supporter $ 500 (2 tickets, a listing in our event program)
Patron $ 250 (1 ticket, a listing in our event program)


You can also purchase Journal Ads! 

Full Page Ad $900 (8 ½” x 11”)
Half Page Ad $450 (4” x 5 ¼”)
Quarter Page Ad $250 (3 7/8” x 5 1/8”)
Business Card Size Ad $150 (3 ½” x 2”) 
Greeting Line $100
Member Discount Line $25

Show your Support and celebrate 20 years of hard work and dedication! 

Hope to see you there!

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Westchester's Cake for Change Fundraiser!!!!

CVH - Mon, 09/07/2015 - 12:39pm
Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm RSVP on Facebook

Join Community Voices Heard for our 1st Annual
Cake for Change Fundraiser!
Come support the hard work happening in Westchester County and have lots of yummy treats and fun! 
All are welcome! 

Location: 87 South Broadway, Yonkers, NY 10705

Entry: $15 to enter a cake

(Categories are Fruit/ Nut, Custard/ Cream, Chocolate, Vegetable - (e.g. Carrot), Yeast Cake (e.g. Babka), Butter cake (e.g. Pound cake, Devil's food cake), Cheese Cake, Foam Cakes (e.g. Angel food or Chiffon Cake), Spice Cakes (e.g. Gingerbread Cake)

and Misc - Use your imaginations but make it TASTY)
Price: General Admission- $20

Dues Paying Member Tickets - $10

Sponsorship levels:

Baker's Delight Sponsorship
$500-Sponsorship includes: 5 tickets, 3 cake entries, journal ad a gift bag.
5 People's Choice Vote tickets!
Yummy Yum Sponsorship
$350- Sponsorship includes: 3 tickets, 2 cake entry, journal ad a gift bag.
3 People's Choice Vote Tickets!
Tasty Treats Sponsorship
$250-Sponsorship includes: 2 tickets, 1 cake entry, journal ad a gift bag.
2 People's Choice Vote Tickets!
For the Adults - Food, Wine, Beer, Music...

For the Kids - Games (Child Care will be available upon request)

Celebrity Judges (to be announced) , so BRING YOUR BEST CAKES...

Prizes Awarded..... Competition will be Cake-Tastic!!!!!

Any questions, or concerns please call

Juanita Lewis- Westchester Lead Organizer 914-519-8588 or

Julia Solow - Westchester Organizer 914-514-7632

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

'Ban the box' movement gains local traction

CVH - Sun, 09/06/2015 - 12:00am

, mlungariel@lohud.com9:29 a.m. EDT September 6, 2015

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

NLRB Charges GE with Unfair Labor Practices, Rejecting Company Claim That Ft. Worth Plant is Not GE

UE - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 9:25am
02 September, 2015Pittsburgh

On August 27, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 6 issued a complaint against General Electric, charging that the company is unlawfully removing union work away from UE Local 618 members in its Erie, Pennsylvania plant, and with discriminating against employees because of their membership in their union. NLRB Region 6 has also rejected GE’s claims that its Fort Worth, Texas locomotive plant is not a GE facility. The NLRB concluded that GE and “GE Manufacturing Solutions” (GEMS), the name under which it operates the Ft. Worth plant, “constitute a single-integrated business enterprise and a single employer under the meaning of the (National Labor Relations) Act.”

The unfair labor practice charge was initially filed with the NLRB by Local 618, the salaried clerical and technical workers local in Erie. For decades, GE has utilized UE Local 618 lab assistants to test prototypes of locomotives and other products manufactured in GE’s transportation division plants around the world. But since early in 2015, GE has refused to offer strain gauge testing work in its Ft. Worth plant to its lab assistant employees. By longstanding local agreement, such work must first be offered to Local 618 lab assistants, and NLRB Region 6 found that GE violated union agreements and federal labor law by denying this work to union members, specifically Local 618 President Mike Divins. The NLRB also says GE broke the law when it “unreasonably delayed” providing the union with information which the union requested and was legally entitled to regarding this matter.

The Erie site is GE’s main North American plant manufacturing locomotives and off-highway vehicle (OHV) motorized wheels, and workers there have been represented by UE Locals 506 and 618 since the 1940s. GE’s Ft. Worth plant first began manufacturing OHV wheels in 2012 and locomotives in 2013. The Texas plant is non-union, but UE has been working with Ft. Worth employees to organize that facility. The union believes that GE is refusing to let Local 618 technicians work in Ft. Worth because it desperately wants to keep the union out of that plant.

In regard to GE’s identity crisis, the union has encountered other instances in which the company falsely claimed that its wholly-owned subsidiaries operating under the GE name are independent operations. UE International Representative Gene Elk said, “In 2012 we ran a union organizing campaign with workers at a GE energy plant in Houston. GE made the bogus argument that the plant was not really GE, even though everything about the plant, from the sign out front to the logos on workers’ uniforms, said GE.” Elk says GE’s motive for this deception is to evade the terms of the GE-UE National Agreement which requires that new units of workers who vote to join UE are automatically covered under that contract. “So we are increasingly witnessing the charade in which GE tells its own employees that their operation is not really GE, and they aren’t really GE workers.”

“In the Ft. Worth case,” Elk continued, “the NLRB has rejected the company’s fiction and found that GE and its wholly-owned Texas affiliate are ‘one single-integrated business,’ with common officers, management, labor policies, and facilities, even when the company adds a few more letters after the initials GE.”

NLRB Region 6 has scheduled a hearing on this case on November 3, 2015 in the Federal Courthouse in Erie. 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

UE Endorses BDS

UE - Tue, 09/01/2015 - 4:20pm
URL: http://www.ueunion.org/political-action/2015/BDSImage: 
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

UE Endorses BDS Movement for Peace and Justice in Israel and Paletine

UE - Tue, 09/01/2015 - 11:06am
01 September, 2015Delegates to UE's 74th National ConventionPittsburgh

On Tuesday, September 1, UE issued the following press release:

At its national convention in Baltimore August 16-20, the United Electrical Workers union (UE) adopted a resolution endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) to pressure Israel to end the occupation and grant Palestinians their freedom. UE is now the first national U.S. union to endorse BDS. The full resolution is below.

The global BDS movement arose from a 2005 call by Palestinian trade unions and human rights groups. UE’s resolution also calls for a cutoff of U.S. aid to Israel and for U.S. support for a peace settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the right to return. With its resolution UE joins COSATU of South Africa, Unite the Union in Britain and many other labor unions in supporting BDS as a step toward justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.

“We reached a breaking point when Israel launched the war on Gaza in 2014, killing over 2,000 people including 500 children.  Because Israel has been unwilling to engage in real negotiations to bring about a just resolution to the occupation, this is a necessary step for labor to take in order to bring about a peaceful end to the conflicts there” said Carl Rosen, president of UE’s Western Region and a member of the national executive board.

UE represents 30,000 workers across the country in the private and public sectors. At its five-day convention member delegates acted on 37 resolutions on collective bargaining, organizing, and political issues.  UE’s BDS statement upholds the union’s long tradition of courageous stands on foreign policy issues, such as being the first union to oppose the Vietnam War. 

The Palestinian Postal Workers Union has written to UE in response to its resolution.  “…We would like to express our deepest appreciation for the courageous resolution on “Justice and Peace for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel”… in support of our right as Palestinians to live in peace and dignity as equals on our lands…. We commend you for calling on your government to change its one-sided foreign policy that disregards human rights and harms any efforts at reaching a just peace, and for fully endorsing our call for boycott, divestment & sanctions (BDS) launched a decade ago. We sincerely hope that other national unions in the US and many other countries will follow in your footsteps. Your active solidarity warms our hearts and gives us hope that one day the working class all over will mobilize as one to help us end this brutal colonial occupation, and bring down the blockade, walls and checkpoints.”

UE General President Bruce Klipple says, “The widespread abuse of workers under the occupation is a concern for the global labor movement.  We support our brothers and sisters in the labor movement who call for this peaceful protest to bring about a just peace in Israel and Palestine.”

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, UE is an independent, member-run union representing both private and public sector workers. 

Here is the full text of the convention resolution:

JUSTICE AND PEACE FOR THE PEOPLES
OF PALESTINE AND ISRAEL

In 1988, delegates to the UE 53rd Convention adopted the resolution “Time for a Just Settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” In it they said, “The occupation by Israel of the West Bank and other Arab lands since 1967 has blocked the exercise of Palestinian national rights and resulted in ongoing violations of human, social, political, economic and particularly trade union rights of Palestinians…” The resolution said the U.S. government had “contributed to the continued conflict by its one-sided support for Israel and its failure to take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people,” and it called for the U.S. government to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization and for the creation of a Palestinian state.

For more than 25 years the U.S. has engaged in a so-called “peace process” with Israeli and Palestinian representatives. But the U.S. role has remained extremely one-sided. The U.S. provides Israel $3 billion a year in aid and repeatedly uses its UN veto to shield Israel from criticism of its human rights abuses. The Palestinians are worse off. In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel continues to confiscate homes and land to expand Israeli settlements which violate international law. Since 1967 Israel has settled more than 500,000 of its citizens in the West Bank, and has been building a wall that separates neighboring towns and cuts off farmers from their fields. Many prominent human rights activists including former President Jimmy Carter and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu have called the system of Israeli rule over Palestinian people “apartheid.”

In Gaza, 1.8 million Palestinians are crowded into a tiny enclave under continuous military and economic blockade. In the summer of 2014 Israel waged a merciless war on the impoverished population of Gaza. More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed.  The vast majority were civilians, including more than 500 children; and the physical destruction was overwhelming. UE’s officers issued a statement expressing our union’s alarm and over 300 Holocaust survivors and descendants signed a full-page newspaper ad that condemned the Israeli attack as genocide and declared, “never again must mean never again for anyone.” Yet incredibly, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously at the time to endorse Israel’s actions.

The source of the conflict goes back to the origins of the State of Israel. The population was overwhelmingly Palestinian Arab (Muslim and Christian) before 1947-48, when well-armed Zionist militias seized most of the territory of Palestine and expelled 750,000 people from their cities, villages and farms. They executed much of the Palestinian leadership and declared the founding of the State of Israel. As a result millions of Palestinians are refugees both in the occupied territories and in other countries. Israel prohibits their return to their homes.

In recent years racism and extremism in Israel has grown more severe. One-fifth of Israeli citizens are Palestinians who survived ethnic cleansing. Some members of parliament, including cabinet members in Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s government, call for stripping their citizenship and expelling them. Some also call for expelling all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza and annexing them to Israel. The “peace process”, supposedly aimed at negotiating the terms of Palestinian statehood in those territories, has been dead at least since March when Netanyahu, in his reelection campaign, declared he would never accept a Palestinian state.

In July 2005 Palestinian trade unions and hundreds of Palestinian civil society organizations called for a worldwide campaign of boycotts to pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians. This has developed into a global movement called Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions. BDS was modeled after the 1980s international solidarity campaign that put economic pressure on South Africa’s government which helped end apartheid.

The summer 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza increased worldwide support for BDS. UE Local 150 endorsed BDS. The largest union in Britain, UNITE, endorsed BDS in July 2014. UAW Local 2865, which represents 13,000 graduate employees of the University of California, also endorsed BDS last year. COSATU, the Congress of South African Trade Unions that helped defeat apartheid in that country, is a strong backer of BDS. Many progressive Jewish organizations and individuals, in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere actively support BDS as a way to bring about peace and justice for the people of Israel and Palestine.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THIS 74th UE CONVENTION:

1.      Calls on Congress and the Administration to end all U.S. military aid to Israel; and to pressure Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the siege of Gaza and negotiate a peace agreement on the basis of equality, democracy, and human rights for the Palestinian and Israeli people, including Palestinian self determination and the right of return for refugees.

2.      Endorses the BDS movement and urges the union at all levels to become engaged in BDS and the movement for peace, justice and equality between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Tenants Pressure NYCHA to Speed Up Mold Remediation at Clinton Houses

CVH - Tue, 09/01/2015 - 12:00am

By Gustavo Solis | September 1, 2015 5:30pm 

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150901/east-harlem/tenants-pressure-nycha-speed-up-mold-remediation-at-clinton-housesClinton Houses

EAST HARLEM — Public housing residents say the city is not moving fast enough to rid their development of toxic mold.

Months after residents of theClinton Houses blasted the new general manager for the complex's conditions including widespread mold they said NYCHA still has not eradicated the problem, resident Akrm Ahmed, 25, said.

“Here we are four months later and we are telling the public that NYCHA have not done what we asked for,” said Ahmed. “NYCHA is not doing their job to their fullest capabilities. Although they have come and made some repairs, they are not as effective as we want them to be.”

Ahmed spoke Tuesday morning in front of 1738 Lexington Ave. with about a dozen NYCHA residents during a press conference hosted by the local advocacy group Community Voices Heard.

The housing agency responded that they have been hard at work fixing leaks and repairing mold conditions in the development for months, spokeswoman Jackie Primeau said.

“We've done significant work to identify the root cause for nearly 120 apartments,” she said in a statement. “We've found plumbing fixtures that are 50 years old to be a major root cause for leaks, moisture buildup, and mold in the development. Expedited remediation is complete or underway at 65 distressed apartments.”

Additionally, NYCHA is in the process of securing 500 toilet replacements for the development, which will help tackle the cause of the mold.

Still, residents who have seen mold come back to walls after shoddy repairs are skeptical that the solutions will last.

“They send painters and plasterers with general work tickets to bleach, paint, patch, and conceal the source and effects of the leaks,” said resident Javier Sepulveda, 48. “I consider this a willful act of conceit bordering on criminal.”

Sepulveda has not paid rent on his $1,500 four-bedroom since 2013, when he was granted a rent abatement because of the water leak in his building, he said.

Since moving into the Clinton Houses five years ago, his teenage daughter has developed asthma. None of his other children have respiratory problems, he added.

To ensure NYCHA remains committed to making substantial repairs to Clinton Houses, Community Voices Heard asked that the city inspect every building for mold by Oct. 1.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Convention Wraps Up With Resolutions on Peace, Safety, Civil Liberties and Worker Rights

UE - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 4:15pm
28 August, 2015There were many smiles and goodbyes as the Convention ended. Senowa Mize-Fox, Local 203; Isaias Garcia, FAT; and Elizabeth Jesdale, Local 255. Baltimore

The final session of the UE 74th National Convention on Thursday morning, August 20, discussed and approved several more resolutions, including "Stop the Dismantling of Public Education", "Build Union Co-ops", "Justice and Peace for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel," "For Peace, Jobs, and a Pro-Worker Foreign Policy", "Defend Civil Liberties", "Support the Family Farmer", "Fight Workplace Closings," "For a Safe and Healthy Workplace, Fix OSHA Now", and "Workplace Struggle."

Delegates upheld the UE tradition of taking courageous stands on foreign policy issues when they adopted the resolution on Palestine and Israel. It points to Israel’s long history of violating the human rights of the Palestinians, starting with the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians in 1947-48 that turned most of Palestine into the State of Israel. It calls for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel, U.S. support for a peace settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the right to return. The resolution also endorses the worldwide BDS movement – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – to pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians just as similar tactics helped to end South African apartheid in the 1980s. UE is now the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS.

Speaking for the resolution were Angaza Laughinghouse, Local 150, Matt Braddon, Local 222; Chris Wolford, Local 170; Autumn Martinez and Elizabeth Jesdale, Local 255. Martinez and Jesdale said they had met Palestinian trade unionists when they attended the World Social Forum in Tunisia, and Martinez said, “It’s absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine!”

The convention also adopted a resolution on numerous military and foreign policy issues from an independent labor perspective. “For Peace, Jobs and a Pro-Worker Foreign Policy” endorses the work of U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW); calls for reducing the military budget while improving the pay and benefits of military personnel and veterans and converting to peaceful uses of resources now devoted to the military; demands the end of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and other regions; calls for negotiation to resolve the Ukraine crisis; supports Zenroren’s call for demilitarization in Japan; and supports the agreement to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“The labor movement needs to have its own independent foreign policy,” said Carl Rosen, Western Region president. Cettina Costagliola, Local 255, talked about meeting Zenroren members who came to New York in April to march for nuclear disarmament. “I’m so glad our Young Activists got to meet with Zenroren,” said Marie Lausch, Local 222. “We to get rid of this culture of war.” Mike Ferritto, Local 506, talked about what he learned a few years ago on a Young Activist delegation to Japan. Brandon Dutton, Local 1161, said, “We have done enough damage. We need to get out of the Middle East.”

Delegates approved a resolution, “Defend Our Civil Liberties.” Peter Knowlton, Northeast Region, compared the role of the police to that of workplace supervisors. “We know from our own experience that what the boss says isn’t necessarily so.” But questioning a police officer, or just putting your hands in your pocket at the wrong time, can get you killed if you’re black or Latino. “We have to have a better understanding of government repression,” said Angaza Laughinghouse, Local 150.

Another resolution adopted Thursday was “For a Safe and Healthy Workplace, Fix OSHA Now!” Chris Wolford, Local 170, said, “We lost one of our members who worked for the Department of Highways when he was killed on the job, so this resolution is very important to us. The local has been fighting for OSHA protection for West Virginia public employees. Scott Slawson said Local 506 is circulating a petition calling for OSHA protection for public employees in Pennsylvania. Jay Huffton, Local 160, and Joni Anderson, Local 1107, also spoke on the resolution.

Delegates spoke about job losses and plant closings when the resolution “Fight Workplace Closings” was brought to the floor. Local 243 is losing jobs to robots and transfer of work to Mexico, said Ray Pompano. Their company, Sargent, is now owned by Assa Abloy, a multinational giant in the lock industry. Scott Slawson spoke about the fights waged by Locals 506 and 332 against GE moving UE work to low-wage non-union plants. Fred Harris, Local 601, also spoke for the resolution.

Jeanette Gabriel, Local 896; Senowa Mize-Fox, Local 203; and Kevin Yancey, Local 150, spoke for the resolution “Stop the Dismantling of Public Education.” Elizabeth Jesdale, Local 203, spoke on “Build Union Co-ops for Economic Justice.” Senowa Mize-Fox, Local 203, proposed an amendment to the resolution “Support the Family Farmer” to strengthen UE’s support for rights of farm workers. The changes and the resolution were approved by delegates. Delegates approved without discussion the resolution “Workplace Struggles”, as well as a packet of resolutions distributed earlier in the week. These included “End Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”; “End the Cuban Blockade”; Promote Rail Transportation”; “Protect Our Planet for Future Generations”; “Protect the Rights of Healthcare Workers”; “Stop the Ten-Hour Day”; “UE Retiree Committees: A Wealth of Experience.”

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National Convention Highlights

UE - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 2:12pm
URL: http://www.ueunion.org/Convention_HighlightsImage: 
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Delegates Elect New Officers, Approve Constitution Amendments in Wed. Afternoon Session

UE - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:16pm
28 August, 2015President Bruce Klipple, with Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley by his side, swears in new national officers and trustees.Baltimore

Wednesday afternoon, August 19 at the UE Convention included discussion and approval of several amendments to the UE Constitution and a few additional resolutions, election of officers, and paying tribute to two longtime UE leaders who will be stepping down and retiring.

The salaries of UE national officers and staff are spelled out in the UE Constitution, which requires their pay "not to exceed an amount equal to the highest weekly wage paid in the industry."  Granting a raise to UE officers and staff requires a convention vote to amend the pay provisions of teh Constitution, and ratification by a majority of the rank-and-file members in local membership meetings. Constitution Committee co-conveners Carl Rosen, Western Region; Scott Slawson, Local 506; and Ray Pompano, Local 243 presented the committee’s recommendation, which included no raises for the coming year, and 3 percent raises in the following year, effective December 1, 2016. Delegates approved the amendments on the salaries of the national officers and staff. They also approved an amendment that will increase the per diem meal allowance for officers and staff away from their home cities on union business, effective December 1, 2016, from $28 to $33 a day. Delegates approved deleting some obsolete language about the old per capita dues system, and authorized transfers of money between different union funds.

The delegates then took up the resolution “Restore the Right to Strike.” Andy Weinberg and Brian McPherson, both from Local 279, spoke about their local’s exemplary strike last winter. “Plan your strike very well. It’s very important to have the community behind you 100 percent,” said McPherson.

Scott Slawson, Local 506, said the UE-GE contract includes the right to strike on grievances, a right his local exercises. “If there is a threat it gives us power. This resolution goes hand-in-hand with organizing.” Mike Wells, Local 267 at the University of Vermont, said the only public sector workers who can legally strike in Vermont are teachers, but “I started a rumor that we were going to strike anyway.” Anthony Watts, Local 1135, said his local was helped in negotiations by the company being “so scared that we might strike.”

Delegates discussed and approved a resolution titled, “Preserving Democratic Member-Run Unionism.” Scott Slawson said, “I was in the United Steelworkers. It is staff-run. The beauty of this union is that the national officers don’t run it, we do.” Sharry Niedfeldt, Local 1161 and Marie Lausch, talked about their experiences in less-democratic unions than UE. “I learned a lot in UE. Local officers need to work together. I tell members, ‘You are the union, not us.’” Also speaking on the resolution were Mike Ferritto, Local 506; Elizabeth Nikazmerad and Kathleen Coonrod, Local 203; Carl Rosen, Western Region; and Becky Dawes, Local 893.

The convention approved a resolution on coalition building, “Build Jobs with Justice and the People’s Movement,” on which Elizabeth Jesdale, Local 255, spoke. Delegates also approved a resolution on economic policy, “A Just Economy for All,” on which Bonita Johnson, Local 150; Joni Anderson, Local 1107; Scott Slawson and Mike Ferritto spoke.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

President Klipple, reminding delegates that he is not running for reelection, called for nominations for general president of UE. Autumn Martinez, Local 255, nominated Peter Knowlton, who has served for years as president of the Northeast Region. Bryan Martindale, Local 1421, seconded the nomination. With no further nominations, delegates voted to instruct the secretary-treasurer to cast a single ballot in the name of Peter Knowlton, thereby electing him president. Peter walked to the dais as delegates stood to applaud, and gave a short acceptance speech.

Klipple called for nominations for secretary-treasurer. Ray Pompano, Local 243, nominated Andrew Dinkelaker, and Joan McAdoo, Local 792 seconded the nomination. There were no further nominations, and delegates approved a motion electing Dinkelaker. Andrew spoke briefly, thanking the delegates.

Next Klipple asked for nominations for director of organization. Scott Slawson nominated Gene Elk, a UE international representative with decades of experience in organizing and negotiating. The nomination was seconded by Marie Lausch, Local 222. Tamyra Levick, Local 208, asked if Bob Kingsley would run for another term and nominated him. Kingsley respectfully declined the nomination and drew laughter when he asked, “What part of ‘no’ don’t you get?” Delegates gave Bob an enthusiastic ovation in appreciation for his years of service.

With no further nominations, delegates approved a motion electing Elk. Gene walked to the stage as delegates applauded, and in a brief speech thanked delegates for their support, thanked the staff for their hard work, and pledged to continue building UE.

Klipple then took nominations for three trustees and three alternate trustees of the national union, one of each from the three regions. The nominations were made by the regional presidents: Deb Gornal, Eastern; Carl Rosen, Western; and Peter Knowlton, Northeast. The new trustees are Don Brown, Local 506; Autumn Martinez, Local 255; and Karel Hoogenraad, Local 1139. Alternates are Chris Wolford, Local 170; Jim Lynch, Local 222; and David Betsworth, Local 893.
President Klipple administered the oath of office to the new officers and trustees, and then brought the entire General Executive Board to the stage.

The session ended with numerous tributes and gifts to Bruce and Bob, thanking them both for their many years of hard work and leadership to UE. The testimonials continued that evening at the official convention banquet.

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