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‘Yet Another’ OPEIU Member Running For Public Office - WNY’s 24-Year-Old Steve Meyer Seeks NYS Assembly’s 146th District Seat, Is One Of The Youngest Candidates Seeking State-Elected Office Across The ‘Entire’ U.S.

Published Sunday, November 6, 2016

(AMHERST, NEW YORK) – After just profiling Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Member Shaun Francis’s campaign to win the 43rd New York State Senate District Seat in Downstate New York, it was brought to WNYLaborToday.com’s attention that there is yet another OPEIU Member running for state government – and he’s right here in Western New York.

And that candidate - OPEIU Local 153 Member Steve Meyer, who is seeking the New York State Assembly’s 146th District Seat against an incumbent Republican that he’s running against for the second time in recent years - is said to be one of the youngest candidates looking to gain state-elected office across the entire United States.

“I’m believed to be ‘either’ the fourth- or -fifth-youngest person running for a state legislature seat - in fact, there are two eighteen year olds running against each other in a race ‘somewhere’ across the country,” Meyer told WNYLaborToday.com as he looks forward to Election Day on Tuesday, November 8th. 

“I ‘figure this is a time in my life when I really care about my community,’” continued Meyer, who is seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Ray Walter - for the second time in recent years.  “I’ve seen a lot of people who I grew up with ‘move away’ and ‘I want to make sure this is a place where they can stay.’  I have ‘a lot of energy and passion.’  Walter has ‘misrepresented’ this district and ‘I think people are ready for something new.’”

Asked whether his age may be seen as a negative to voters within the district that includes the Buffalo Suburb of Amherst and stretches north up into the Niagara County Town of Pendleton, Meyer tells Your On-Line Labor Newspaper: “Being ‘young is a good thing.’  I’m ‘not a professional politician.’  I have a ‘clean slate.’  Other candidates ‘don’t have that.’  I’m a ‘hard-working person who believes in hard work, integrity and honesty.’  I was ‘raised that way.’”

Meyer tells WNYLaborToday.com that he’s a “Pro-Worker Candidate” who’s running on several important issues, including: Campaign Finance Reform; Reforming Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs); Investing in education; and Improving our aging infrastructure.

“My campaign has been ‘fantastic,’” he said.  “I’ve ‘averaged knocking on one-thousand doors a week’ and voters have been ‘receptive.’  The issues I’m running on ‘are not partisan.’  ‘Who can’t agree on campaign reform, reforming IDAs and investing in education for our children and (repairing and upgrading) our infrastructure?’”

Meyer - who’s a small businessman (whose business assists other small businesses “get off the ground” and grow), has been a Member of OPEIU Local 153 since January 2015 when he started working as a Community Organizer for the Erie County Democratic Party in Buffalo: “I’m ‘proud’ of being a Union Member.  I’ve participated in a number of pickets and rallies across the district.  Labor Unions ‘stand up’ for their Members.  What the ‘brotherhood’ means to me is to have a Union to ‘believe in.’  We’re ‘all hard-working people’ who ‘believe in community success’ and, we’re a ‘network’ of people ‘who share the same ideas’ – including ‘fighting for fairness’ in our workplaces.”

“I’m a ‘strong supporter’ of public education and I would like to see tax credits ‘shifted’ to more locally-owned businesses instead of ‘big box stores’ that create ‘low-paying’ jobs.  And, I believe we need to ‘reform’ Industrial Development Agencies, which hand out ‘corporate welfare.’  They were set up with ‘good intentions,’ but they ‘are not’ helping create jobs.  They’re just ‘handing out free revenue’ so others can ‘reap the benefits’ of tax revenue.  I’m ‘really excited about helping attract and grow’ renewable energy companies, which create ‘high-paying’ jobs, as well as ‘improve’ our infrastructure network,” he said.

Meyer previously ran against Walter, losing the race by about a 10% margin.  With the district being “fifty-fifty” when it comes to a Democratic/Republican breakdown – Meyer believes he has a good chance at unseating the incumbent this time around.

“I’m not in this for ‘myself’ and I’m not ‘running through this gauntlet’ or putting myself through this again ‘for fun,’” Meyer told WNYLaborToday.com.  “My opponent even hired an ‘impersonator’ who ‘sounds like me’ in his radio ads.  I’m doing this to ‘fight for’ those who live in this district.  This is the ‘gist’ of this: ‘We deserve better and we need those in state office who will stand up and support those in our community and Working People alike.’”

“The last time a Democrat won this district was in 1972 (with John LaFalce, who later went on to represent the area as a U.S. Congressman),” he added.  “What we need to do is ‘make sure’ we get voter turnout this time.”

OPEIU Local 153 Business Representative Robert McLennan tells WNYLaborToday.com that Meyer is a “great young candidate” who’s been “unfairly attacked” by Walter in his radio ads.

“He is a ‘bright, young guy - someone we need in public office,’” McLennan said.  “He’s a Member of our Union and ‘he believes in the Union Movement.’  When he’s elected he will ‘protect’ the Middle Class.  ‘He’s a kid that we need.’”

WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: For More on Steve Meyer, Visit his web site at: www.electstevemeyer.com and his Social Network/Facebook Page at: www.facebook.com/electstevemeyer/?fref=ts.  And to Read About OPEIU’s Shan Francis’s Campaign for the 43rd New York State Senate District Seat in Downstate New York, Go to: http://www.wnylabortoday.com/index.php.

 

Yet Another Example Of A Union Leader Getting Involved To ‘Make Things Better For All:’ OPEIU’s Shaun Francis Runs For 43rd New York State Senate District Seat

Published Wednesday, November 2, 2016

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK) – As he’s gone door-to-door over the past several months talking to the voters who live in the 43rd New York State Senate District, Democratic/Working Families Party Candidate Shaun Francis has spoken to a lot of Working People, residents who are also Union Members employed by government and in education in Columbia County and across parts of Saratoga, Washington and Rensselaer counties.

And it has become more and more apparent, he tells WNYLaborToday.com in a telephone interview from the Albany-area, just days before the November 8th Election, that when the dust settles, if Working People are going to prosper in the future, they have to elect candidates who are 100% - “from issue one to issue one-hundred” – in support of “our” agenda.

“I know people ‘get frustrated’ (with those elected officials who aggressively seek the support of Organized Labor, but tend to take a back seat from time to time in regards to the issues important to Labor once in office), but (Unions) ‘need’ candidates who are ‘supportive of every single one of our’ issues,” the 37-year-old Francis told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper. 

“I’m a ‘Labor Candidate,’ that’s what I’m running as - but ‘we have to go further than that.’  We have to ‘cultivate our own’ candidates (from within Organized Labor),” he continued.  “We have to ‘go out and find our own.’  We ‘need’ people who ‘understand’ (what Working People face and have to go through).  We ‘need’ people who fight ‘unfair’ workplace practices, handle grievances and negotiate contracts.  That’s ‘how important it is to have our own Members make the decision to run for office.’  Then when someone like myself is elected, ‘you don’t have to explain the issues to me because I’ve lived it.’  We’ll be ‘well-served’ by those from ‘our own’ ranks.  ‘Win or lose, I will be doing more of this’ (find candidates from within Organized Labor to run for office).”

The Wilton resident is a former professional minor league baseball umpire who later served as president of the Independent Association of Minor League Umpires Union from 2007 to 2012. 

He played an integral role in helping the Umpires Union affiliate with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), which was so impressed with Francis that Union Leadership offered him an International Representative/Organizer position, which he initially worked in the off-season before becoming a full-time rep, while maintaining the position of Executive Director of the Umpires’ Union.

Michael Goodwin, OPEIU’s former National President who now serves as Region II/Local 153’s Business Manager, hired Francis for the position. 

“He was such a ‘great’ talent,” Goodwin told WNYLaborToday.com of Francis.  “I hired him as an International Rep.  He is such a ‘quality’ person who has ‘good, progressive values.’  ‘I couldn’t be more proud of him.’  I’m ‘very optimistic he will make it over the finish line’.  He has a ‘great’ future.”

Goodwin also echoed what Francis had said about the need for Organized Labor to find those within its own ranks to run for public office: “It’s critical.  The Labor Movement gets ‘screwed’ by many of those who are elected.  We ‘need more’ Union Members in office because Workers ‘are much better’ (when it comes to understanding what Working People need).”

Said Francis: “With OPEIU, I became ‘very active” in politics (and was involved in a number of races that received support from his Union), including the 2012 Presidential Race and Gubernatorial and Senate races in Alaska.  When I came back home, I found myself ‘turned off’ by my current elected representative, (State Senator Kathleen Marchione), who was an ‘extreme Right Wing zealot.’  She was ‘against everything,’ including being ‘Anti-Worker.’  I just decided that I ‘didn’t want her to represent me anymore.’”

That’s when Francis began thinking about making a run for the 43rd Senate District Seat, even though – admittedly, the Democratic Party had not targeted the seat.  Republicans do hold a nearly 7,000 vote advantage in the 212,000-plus district, but Francis is buoyed by its past history of voting for Democrats.

“(The Democratic Party) ‘hadn’t made a full effort’ (in ousting the incumbent Republican), they ‘hadn’t put their shoulder into it’” he said.  “I began my run in January 2015.  ‘I believed if I ran a good campaign, I could win’ – because it was going to be a Presidential Election year and the Republican district was won by President Obama in 2012 and that (New York/U.S. Senators Charles) Schumer and (Kirsten) Gillibrand had also won the district in their past races.”

While he said he does not have the monetary budget his Republican opponent has, Francis has recently started running TV, radio and print ads and has received a number of Labor endorsements (OPEIU, the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainsmen  the Communications Workers of America, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Iron Workers, the New York State Nurses Association, and the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters).

He is also receiving additional help from a number of Unions, including Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200, which is mailing out informational fliers to their Members who live in the district. 

“I’ve gotten a lot of ‘positive’ feedback,” Francis said of his campaign.  “Being a Union Member ‘is not frowned upon here’ like in ‘other’ places, like Texas.  Unions ‘aren’t looked at negatively.’” 

Francis is running on a number of issues, including: The need to rebuild our infrastructure of today and to build the modern infrastructure of tomorrow; Providing quality public education, regardless of zip code; Standing up for women’s rights; Growing our main streets; Providing clean, safe and healthy drinking water for all; Working to protect our planet; and Working to prevent gun deaths while protecting our 2nd Amendment Rights (For More on Francis and his campaign, go to: www.shaun-francis.com/home-1.html).

However, campaign finance reform and wiping out corruption in Albany politics is a major campaign issue for Francis.

“It’s the ‘money’ in politics that ‘creates’ the corruption,” he told WNYLaborToday.com.  “We ‘need’ publicly-funded campaigns because ‘we cannot sustain’ the ‘bought and paid for.’  We ‘need to fight and lead the way on this.’  You ‘can’t allow’ candidates to ‘outspend’ their opponent ‘on the way’ to winning an election.”

Yet Another Union Member ‘Making A Commitment To Making Things Better - For All’ - United University Professions’ Monica Wallace Campaigning To Win The 143rd Buffalo-Area NYS Assembly Primary Election

Published Wednesday, September 7, 2016

(LANCASTER, NEW YORK) – Much has been written on the elected officials who once represented the Western New York Towns of Cheektowaga and Lancaster, and the Villages of Lancaster, Depew and Sloan, as New York State’s 143rd New York State Assembly representative.  While the sordid story of scandal, sexual harassment, abuse of power and overall constituency disappointment is a well-known one here in Western New York, Labor-endorsed Candidate Monica Wallace is aiming to change that after making the decision to get into the race in order to make things better for those who live, work and raise their families across the district. 

The United University Professions (UUP) Union Member, an attorney who now teaches at the State University at New York (SUNY) Buffalo Law School, is the latest in long line of Union Members and Activists across Western New York who’ve made a decision to run for public office over the past several years.

Wallace (Pictured Below/WNYLaborToday.com Photo) is facing off against an opponent in the September 13th Democratic Primary who also carries with her a tarnished past, one that Wallace hopes will have voters focusing more on reform than voting for an individual who could bring more unneeded baggage to a seat that has already endured enough shame.

“I am an ‘outsider’ to the process,” Lancaster resident Wallace told WNYLaborToday.com during a recent sit-down interview.  “I worked in the Federal Court System where you had to ‘serve with the highest integrity.’  There’s been ‘a lot of frustration’ (from the district’s constituency) with the ‘incompetency’ of those who’ve served the district.  The question was: ‘Why aren’t there better people running?’  So, I thought, there were ‘two’ choices: ‘Do nothing’ or ‘run as someone who will bring about change.’”

Organized Labor is squarely behind Wallace with the Democratic candidate receiving a number of area endorsements, including backing from the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) and the New York State AFL-CIO, the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Ironworkers Local 6, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades (IUPAT)District Council 4, the Public Employees Federation (PEF), the Teamsters, and the UUP-affiliated New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union.

UUP President Fred Kowal, whose Statewide Union represents more than 35,000 Academic and Professional Faculty on 29 SUNY Campuses - in addition to System Administration and Empire State College, said in a telephone interview with WNYLaborToday.com from Albany that Wallace is "incredibly well qualified."

"I've gotten to know her and she is 'brilliant,'" Kowal said.  "It's a 'proud moment' for (UUP) to have 'one of our own' (running for the State Assembly).  She has a 'long and distinguished career' in the judiciary and she's an 'outstanding' Faculty Member.  And she really 'exemplifies' what UUP 'is all about.'  Our Members 'work for the public good.'  It's 'all about public service' and Monica is 'committed' to public service.  She told me she would 'only run' (for public office) is she could 'make a difference.'  UUP is always looking for 'allies' to push forward our agenda, which is a 'New York State agenda.'  She'll be a 'fantastic' (Assemblywoman)."

WNYALF President Richard Lipsitz said in a WNYLaborToday.com interview: “I’ve gotten to know her through her UUP connection.  She’s ‘very smart.’  She asked us for ‘our advice’ – she wanted to know what the ‘entire’ Labor Movement ‘was all about.’  She’s a ‘quality person’ and I ‘mean’ that.  She’s 'knows about' Labor Unions and Worker issues and we believe she’ll ‘make good’ on ‘putting an end’ to the problems that have occurred with those who’ve been elected in the past to that seat.”

NYSUT Regional Staff Director Mike Deely tells Your On-Line Labor Newspaper that Wallace is ‘special.”  “We’re talking about her being a ‘quality’ human being.  I feel the woman has the ‘ability to serve’ in ‘higher office.’  She’s ‘unique’ and I believe, ‘top shelf.’  This job is ‘not for the weak’ - she’s a ‘gamer.’”

Wallace told WNYLaborToday.com that she was the first person in her family to attend college, and that she “understands the importance” of education and the value of hard work.  She received her law degree from SUNY Buffalo Law School and her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Binghamton, where she graduated with high honors.  The married mother of two is active in the legal community and has served on several community boards, including the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, the Lancaster YMCA and Neighborhood Legal Services.  

Wallace (Pictured below, speaking to NYSUT’s Deely on a recent picket line and standing with CWA Members during the Verizon Strike) has also been endorsed by the Working Families Party.  She could be seen at numerous rallies and pickets over the summer involving the CWA and NYSUT.  She says she did so because she herself knows the worth of having a voice in the workplace as a UUP Member and for her love and dedication to education for all children.

“My grandfather was a Teamster, as was his father,” said Wallace, who was raised by a single mother.  “He was ‘old school’ Italian.  He worked ‘very hard’ and I remember him doing things himself, like building a shed in his backyard – laying the foundation, putting up the walls, adding a window and putting on a roof.  I learned ‘resiliency’ from him.  He had it ‘tough’ growing up.  He was in an orphanage and after he got married to my grandmother, a fire burned their house down.  They ‘lost everything’ and they had to ‘start all over again.’  I grew up in a family that went to the mailbox, waiting for a child support check that ‘didn’t come.’  We qualified for ‘free lunch’ (growing up), but I went to work and worked my way through college and law school.  I was the first in my family to go to college.  That’s why I ‘believe’ education is ‘essential’.”

“What ‘impresses me’ about Labor is the ‘voice’ NYSUT brings to the table ‘on behalf’ of public education so ‘important issues can be discussed on a level that wouldn’t be heard (without it),’” she continued.  “And it’s ‘important to show solidarity,’ that you ‘stand with’ your fellow Union Members and ‘support’ them.  I think it’s ‘important’ for a public official to ‘speak out on behalf’ of Labor – ‘amplify the call’ to bargain fairly.”

Wallace tells WNYLaborToday.com she’s running on a three-point platform: Ethics Reform; Better Education Opportunities and Funding; and Investing in Western New York’s crumbling Infrastructure, as well as holding those in power accountable when public funding is given to entities that receive tax breaks in return for promising job creation.

While running to “restore integrity” and be a strong, ethical voice for our community, Wallace says that – if elected, she pledges to hold herself to the highest professional standards.  She believes the district needs a leader who understands complex issues of law and policy and appreciates how decisions made in Albany impact Working People every day.

With a victory in next week’s primary, Wallace will inch closer to making her goal a reality for not only the residents and taxpayers of the 143rd Assembly District, but for Working People and their families.

National AFL-CIO Endorses Hillary Clinton For President

Published Saturday, June 18, 2016

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The General Board of the 12.5 million Member National AFL-CIO has voted to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

The endorsement reflects a comprehensive, democratic process that was initiated one year ago to capture the interests of the 12.5 million Working People the National Labor Federation represents, Union Officials said.

Beginning immediately, the National AFL-CIO will put in motion its ground campaign to elect Clinton and Union-endorsed candidates across the country. 

National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pledged that “we will run a sophisticated, targeted ground campaign.”

“Hillary Clinton is a ‘proven leader’ who ‘shares our values,’” Trumka said. “Throughout the campaign, she’s demonstrated a ‘strong commitment’ to the issues that ‘matter’ to Working People, and our Members ‘have taken notice.’  The ‘activism’ of Working People has ‘already been a major force’ in this election and is ‘now poised’ to elect Hillary Clinton and ‘move America forward.’”

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) President Lee Saunders, who serves as Chair of the AFL-CIO Political Committee said: “This election offers a ‘stark choice’ between an ‘unstoppable champion’ for Working Families and an ‘unstable charlatan’ who made his fortune ‘scamming’ them.  Working People know that Hillary Clinton ‘has the temperament and experience to unite all Americans’ in our fight to ‘increase’ incomes at home and ‘extinguish’ threats abroad.”

National AFL-CIO President Trumka noted: “Senator Bernie Sanders has brought an ‘important voice’ to this election, and has ‘elevated’ critical issues and ‘strengthened’ the ‘foundation’ of our movement.  His ‘impact’ on American politics ‘cannot be overstated.’”

“We’re ready to ‘fight hard’ to ‘restore faith’ in America and ‘improve’ the lives of ‘all’ Working People,” Trumka added. “Hillary Clinton has ‘proven herself’ as a ‘champion’ of the Labor Movement and we will be ‘the driving force’ to elect her President of the United States.”

To Directly Access This Labor News Story, Go to: www.laborpress.org/sectors/political-action/7808-afl-cio-endorses-hillary-clinton-for-president.  And Click Here to Learn About the National AFL-CIO's Endorsement Process.

 

NYSUT Endorses Buffalo Senator Marc Panepinto, Says Panepinto Is An “Outspoken Champion Of What Students And Educators Need” And “A ‘Lion’ In Fighting For What Working New Yorkers ‘Need’ To Climb The Economic Ladder.”

Published Wednesday, March 2, 2016

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) – The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union has issued an early endorsement of Buffalo Senator Marc Panepinto and backed Jaime Williams and Yuh-Line Niou for the State Assembly in the April 19th special election.

The 600,000-plus Member Union’s Board of Directors voted to make the early endorsement of Panepinto at a meeting this past weekend, saying the freshman senator is a strong supporter of Public Education and Organized Labor and is the “clear choice” of NYSUT members in his Senate district.

“Marc Panepinto has been an ‘outspoken champion’ of what students and educators ‘need’ in his Buffalo-area district and a ‘lion’ in fighting for what working New Yorkers ‘need to climb’ the economic ladder,” NYSUT President Karen Magee said. “Our members in New York City, too, have full confidence that Jaime Williams in the (59th) Assembly District and Yuh-Line Niou in the (65th) Assembly District will ‘continue to fight’ for public schools and Labor in the State Assembly.”

NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said Panepinto has built bridges to parents and Educators in the 60th Senate District after a hard-fought victory in 2014. 

“Senator Panepinto has been a ‘relentless foe’ of over-testing and a ‘vocal advocate’ for the policies and resources that educators ‘need’ – ‘and parents want’ - in order to ‘continue to move’ our public schools and colleges in the ‘right direction,’” he said. “We are excited to endorse Senator Panepinto again and ‘look forward’ to ‘fighting alongside him’ for students from pre=kindergarten through post-graduate school.”

Pallotta noted that Niou is experienced in Albany, working as Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Ronald Kim, and has the “knowledge and skills” to fill the Assembly seat formerly held by Sheldon Silver.  He said Niou and Williams, also an Assembly staff member, have impressed NYSUT Members with their knowledge of education issues and their support for public education.

Pallotta said volunteers will now begin working to elect Niou and Williams in the April 19th special election. 

Pallotta said the early endorsement of Panepinto and the Union’s backing of Williams and Niou will bring hundreds of volunteers to phone bank, hand out literature and work on campaigns, as well as financial support to help defray the cost of running for office.

NYSUT will hold its regular endorsement conference in August.

New York State United Teachers is a Statewide Union with more than 600,000 Members in Education, Human Services and Health Care.

NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and the AFL-CIO.

To Directly Access This Labor News Story, Go to: www.nysut.org/news/2016/february/nysut-endorses-panepinto-williams-and-niou

 

If You Think Donald Trump ‘Really Wants’ To “Make America Great Again,” Then Read The ‘Real Story’ On His Own Party’s Attacks On Trump For Hiring Undocumented Polish Workers

Published Sunday, February 28, 2016

(NEW YORK CITY) – During last week’s Republican Presidential Debate, Marco Rubio came out swinging at Donald Trump with a big accusation: Trump hired unauthorized immigrants from Poland.

"Fined ($1 million) for hiring Polish Workers on one of his projects," Rubio said, urging the audience to look it up on Google. "He did it. That happened."

Rubio is mostly right.

It does show up on Google.

And it did happen, but Trump didn't pay a $1 million fine - although he did pay an undisclosed sum.

Whether it will actually hurt Trump, a candidate who's consistently gotten away with inconsistencies in his record, is - of course - another question entirely.

For the development of the crown jewel of Trump's real estate empire - the Trump Tower - Trump hired around 200 undocumented Polish immigrants for the first part of the project.

The New York Times, which covered the allegations as they played out in the courts, explained: In 1980, Mr. Trump did hire around 200 undocumented Polish Workers to demolish the Bonwit Teller Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to make way for the Trump Tower.  The Workers later sued Mr. Trump, saying that they had been underpaid and mistreated.  They said they received $4 to $5 an hour - if that - to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.  Trump blamed any violations on the demolition contractor whom he said he later fired, but a judge ruled that Trump had indeed withheld about $4 million from the Workers.

Fifteen years after the court battle began, one of the Laborers involved described the terrible working conditions to The New York Times: "We worked in horrid, terrible conditions," Wojciech Kozak said, noting conditions in which Workers were choked by clouds of asbestos dust while wearing no protective equipment. "We were ‘frightened’ illegal immigrants and ‘did not know enough’ about ‘our rights.’"

What's more, Trump's contractor allegedly hired the undocumented Laborers to avoid fully paying American Laborers.

The Times reported Demolition Workers Local 95 of the Laborers' International Union of North America had a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Kaszycki Company of Herkimer, New York requiring it to pay specified Wages to Union and Non-Union Workers at the Trump Tower site and to make additional payments for each Worker into the Local's Pension and Medical Insurance Funds.

Attorneys Wendy Sloan and Lewis Steel, who served as legal counsel for current and retired Local 95 Members in the suit, assert that William Kaszycki - owner of the contracting company, hired about 200 Polish immigrants who were not Local 95 Members and agreed to pay them $4 to $5 an hour on 12-hour shifts seven days a week.

The Kaszycki Company, the plaintiffs said, violated the Union's $11-an-hour Minimum Wage Scale and made payments to the Local's Welfare Funds for only 12 to 15 Employees.

The contractor also failed to pay the 200 Poles their full Wages, causing work stoppages and delays.

The litigation was repeatedly delayed due to the deaths of several people involved in the lawsuit and procedural technicalities.

Trump eventually settled out of court, paying an undisclosed sum.

To Read the Rest of This Labor News Story, Go to: www.vox.com/2016/2/25/11118276/donald-trump-polish-workers

 

 

The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Announces Its List Of Endorsed Candidates For The 2015 November Election

Published Tuesday, October 27, 2015

(NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK) – The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council has announced its list of endorsed candidates for the 2015 November Election:

Niagara County Clerk: Jamie R. Moxham

Niagara County Legislator – 2nd District: Michael A. Johnson

Niagara County Legislator – 3rd District: Mark J. Grozio

Niagara County Legislator – 4th District: Owen T. Steed

Niagara County Legislator – 5th District: Jason A. Zona

Niagara County Legislator – 6th District: Dennis F. Virtuoso

Niagara County Legislator – 11th District: Russell J. DeFranco

Niagara County Legislator – 12th District: William O. Nye

Niagara County Legislator – 13th District: Robert K. Drury

City of Lockport Mayor: Roger L. Sherrie

City of Lockport Alderman-at-Large: R. Joseph O’Shaughnessy

City of Lockport Alderman Ward 1: Edward W. Tracy

City of Lockport Alderman Ward 2: Anita Mullane

City of Lockport Alderman Ward 3: Mark S. Devine

City of Lockport Alderman Ward 5: Richard E. Abbott

City of Niagara Falls Councilman: Ezra P. Scott Jr.

Town of Lewiston Sup of Highways: David J. Trane

Town of Niagara Councilman: Richard A. Sirianni

Town of Niagara Sup of Highways: Robert E. Herman Sr.

Town of Pendleton Town Justice: Kevin D. Mack

Town of Wheatfield Supervisor: Gerald McCormick

Town of Wheatfield Councilwoman: Shirley J. Joy

Town of Wheatfield Councilman: Gilbert G. Doucet

 

1.6 Million-Member AFSCME Endorses Hillary Clinton – President Saunders Says Membership Wanted A Candidate That “Works To Raise Incomes Of Workers & Make It Easier To Join Together In Strong Unions”

Published Tuesday, October 27, 2015

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has announced Hillary Clinton has earned the 1.6 million-member Union’s endorsement in the 2016 Presidential Race.  AFSCME’s New York State Affiliate - the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) - has also endorsed Clinton for President.

AFSCME’s 35-person International Executive Board voted overwhelmingly to follow the guidance of its Members based on feedback collected over the past six months, including polling data showing nearly two-thirds of AFSCME Members would vote for Clinton in the Democratic Primary.

“The next President will make decisions that could ‘make or break’ the ability of Working People across America to sustain their families.  That’s why we spent the last six months engaged in the ‘most member-focused, in-depth, and transparent endorsement process’ AFSCME has ever undertaken,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders said.

“What we heard throughout our endorsement process is that AFSCME Members want a candidate who is ‘committed’ to fixing our out-of-balance economy and raising incomes for hard-working people who are still struggling to make ends meet.  Members want a candidate who will make it ‘easier’ - instead of ‘harder’ - to join together in strong Unions and ‘stand together’ for Wages and Benefits that can sustain our families.  What we also heard was AFSCME Members want the candidate who will be the ‘most effective champion’ for Working Families, and who will be able to ‘deliver a victory’ in this critically important election.  AFSCME Members believe that candidate is Hillary Clinton,” Saunders said.

AFSCME Members also know grassroots organizing is the only answer to the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be poured into this election by the same CEOs and corporations that rig economic rules in their favor, Union Representatives said, and AFSCME Members felt strongly it was time to begin turning out friends and neighbors to cast a ballot for Clinton and get involved in the 2016 elections.

Hillary Clinton will tackle the issues that affect ordinary Americans’ quality of life, like paid family and sick leave, the crushing burden of student loan debt, and retirement security, AFSMCE Representatives said in a press release.

While there are several excellent candidates who share AFSCME’s values, Clinton is a proven champion for Working Families, and with the grassroots support of AFSCME Members, she is the candidate who can deliver on our hopes and hard work next November, Union Officials said.

Meanwhile, back in New York State, CSEA President Danny Donohue has announced his Statewide Union’s endorsement of Clinton for President of the United States: “There is ‘no question’ that Hillary Clinton is the ‘most qualified candidate’ in the race for President and has demonstrated her ability to lead over and over again.  Just as important, she’s ‘earned the respect’ of CSEA Members and other Working People, and the majority of our Members strongly support her candidacy.”

Clinton issued the following statement after receiving both AFSCME’s and CSEA’s endorsement:   

I am honored to have earned the support of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Civil Service Employees Association Local 1000, and to stand with them in the fight to help Working Families get ahead and stay ahead.  AFSCME and CSEA have spent decades working to strengthen America’s Middle Class and to give Workers a voice.  American Workers built the Middle Class by fighting for Higher Wages, Safer Working Conditions, Retirement Security, and the Right to Collectively Bargain.  Now, Working Families are under attack by Republicans who want to silence Workers, strip them of their hard-won rights, and keep stacking the deck for those at the top.  As President, I will stand up for Workers and fight attacks on Collective Bargaining.  I will fight to protect Retirement Security, including Defined Benefit Plans and Social Security - because when Unions are strong, families are strong, and when families are strong, America is strong.  I am proud to stand with Public Sector Workers at the Federal, State, County and Municipal Levels of government.  They make this Country work.  Together - with the men and women of AFSCME and CSEA, I know we can continue making progress and build a better future for Working Families across America.

To Directly Access This Labor News Stories, Go to: www.afscme.org/blog/afscme-endorses-hillary-clinton and https://cseany.org/watch-video-from-the-2015-adm/.

 

 

Backing Candidates Who ‘Stand Up For Working People’ - The Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation Announces Its 2015 Political Endorsements

Published Thursday, October 15, 2015

(WESTERN NEW YORK) - The Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF), the region’s umbrella Labor Organization that oversees five Central Labor Councils in Buffalo, Niagara-Orleans, Dunkirk, Jamestown and Cattaraugus County, that combined represented more than 100,000 Union Members – has announced its 2015 Political Endorsements.

In a statement, the WNYALF – whose mission is to improve the lives and increase the power of Working Families, bring fairness and dignity to the workplace and secure social equity, said: After the elections we look forward to working with our Elected Officials to advance the priorities of Working Families.  These priorities include: Improving Wages and Working Conditions: Accountability for companies that receive tax subsidies for job creation; Making our hospitals safer for Patients and Staff; Strengthening Public Education; and Ensuring that Public Infrastructure Projects use materials that are Made in America.

As such, the WNYALF has endorsed the following candidates in 2015 Elections:

  • New York State Supreme Court: James McLeod and Debra Givens
  • Erie County Executive: Mark Poloncarz
  • Erie County Legislature, District 3: Peter Savage
  • Erie County Legislature, District 7: Patrick Burke
  • Erie County Legislature, District 8: Debra Liegl
  • Erie County Court: Sheila DiTullio
  • Erie County Family Court: Kelly Brinkworth
  • Cattaraugus County Clerk: Brittany Melfi
  • Cattaraugus County Legislature, District 3: Karen Fenner
  • Buffalo Common Council, Masten District: Ulysees Wingo
  • Buffalo City Court Judge: JaHarr Pridgen
  • Lackawanna City Council, Ward 4: Chuck Kowalski
  • Tonawanda City Court Judge: Mark Doane
  • Amherst Town Council: Hadar Borden
  • Cheektowaga Town Council: Steven Specyal
  • Hamburg Town Council: Tom Best Jr.
  • Hamburg Town Clerk: Cathy Rybczynski
  • Lancaster Supervisor: Johanna Metz Coleman
  • Tonawanda Town Supervisor: Joe Emminger
  • West Seneca Supervisor: Sheila Meegan
  • West Seneca Town Council: Eugene Hart
  • West Seneca Town Justice: Shannon Filbert

 

 

WNY Labor Endorsement Updates From The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Labor Council, The Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council, SEIU Local 200 United & The Working Families Party

Published Thursday, October 30, 2014

(WESTERN NEW YORK) – With Election Day Fast Approaching On Tuesday, November 4th – the Following Western New York Labor Organizations, Unions and the Working Families Party Has Announced the Following Endorsements:

Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Endorsements: Town of Niagara Supervisor - Lee Wallace and State Supreme Court Justice - John DelMonte.

The Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council; Whose 18 Affiliated Trade Unions That Combine to Represent More Than 10,000 Unionized Construction Workers Across Western New York - Has Announced the Following New York State and Western New York Political Endorsements: Governor – Andrew Cuomo; Lt. Governor - Kathleen Hochul; State Assembly – Crystal Peoples-Stokes (141st), Mickey Kearns (142nd) and Sean Ryan (149th); State Senate – Patrick Gallivan (59th) and Mark Grisanti (60th District), Robert Ortt (62nd District) and Tim Kennedy (63rd District); and State Supreme Court – John DelMonte.

SEIU Local 200 United Announces Endorsements for November’s Elections: Governor – Andrew Cuomo; Lt. Governor – Kathy Hochul; Attorney General – Eric Schneiderman; Comptroller – Thomas DiNapoli; Brian Higgins, U.S. House of Representatives (District 26); Marc Panepinto, New York State Senate (District 60); Johnny Destino, New York State Senate (District 62); Timothy Kennedy, New York State Senate (District 63); Crystal Peoples-Stokes, New York State Assembly (District 141); Sean Ryan, New York State Assembly (District 149); Andrew Goodell, New York State Assembly (District 150); William Clark, Erie County Clerk; Lee Wallace, Town of Niagara Supervisor; and Alisa Lukasiewicz, New York State Supreme Court Judge.     

Working Families Announces Nominations For Supreme Court Justice: John DelMonte; Susan Eagan; Dan Furlong; Debra Givens; and Judge Jeanette Ogden.

 

 

Tired Of Getting ‘Lip Service’ From Elected Officials In Albany, NYSUT Teacher Elaine Altman Takes Aim On Winning The State Senate’s 61st District Seat

Published Thursday, October 9, 2014

(AMHERST) – Elaine Altman Became Increasingly Frustrated During Her Many Trips to Albany to Lobby Western New York’s Elected State Officials Over the Years as a Representative of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union, Including Meeting With Her Representative - Republican State Senator Michael Razenhoffer - Who “Rubbed Her Raw” With the “Lip Service” He Provided and Making Thoughtless Comments That He Understood, Because His Mother Was a Teacher.

In Fact, the 64-Year-Old Mother of Three Grown and Adult Sons Actually May Have Razenhoffer Himself to Thank for Getting Involved in the Political Process to Bring About Change When She Decided Earlier This Year to Run on the Democratic Line for State Senate.

“I Talked to My Opponent Often (During Lobbying Trips to Albany) and All We Got Was ‘Lip Service,’ Which ‘Rubbed Me Raw,’” Altman (Pictured Above/WNYLaborToday.com Photos) Told WNYLaborToday.com During an Interview at Amherst Democratic Headquarters Earlier This Week.  He’s (Razenhoffer, Who Heads the State Senate’s Education Committee) Been a Legislator During All the Massive Cuts (the State Has) Made to Education and the ‘Best’ He Could say Was That He ‘Understood’ and That His ‘My Mother Was a Teacher.’”

Altman’s Been a Teacher for 24 Years, is Director of the Staff Development in the Kenmore-Tonawanda Union Free School District and Serves as a First Vice President of the Kenmore Teachers Association.  She’s Lived in Clarence for the Past Seven Years.  During That Time, Altman Told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper That Razenhoffer Has Been Virtually “Non-Existent” in the Area That He Serves and That Many Residents Whom She’s Spoken to say the Two-Term Incumbent is “Not an Initiator,” But a “Follower.” 

Razenhoffer – Who Strangely is Currently Featured in a High-Profile TV Ad Touting the Benefits of His Law Firm’s Services Rather Than in Any Political Ad That Anyone Would Believe Should be Running at This Time With the November Election Just Weeks Away – May be Most Remembered for His Passionate and Long 45-Minute Speech on the Senate Floor for Yogurt to be Designated as the New York State’s Official Snack (Razenhoffer Was Lampooned by National Late Night Talk Show Hosts – Including David Letterman and Jon Stewart, Go to: http://observer.com/2014/05/daily-show-mercilessly-lampoons-state-senates-yogurt-debate/).

“Our Elective Officials are ‘Reflective’ of What’s Going On Right Now in Albany,” Altman said.  “Yeah, You Can Tell Me You’re ‘Going to Lower My Taxes,’ But There Needs to be a Higher Level of Accountability.  Their Comments Irritated Me, Especially When I’m Told ‘My Mother Was a Teacher.’  Even Though (Razenhoffer) Headed the Education Committee, There Was Clearly a ‘Huge Lack’ of Understanding (On the Issues Impacting Education).  He’s Been a Legislator During All These Massive Cuts to Education and the Best he Could say Was, ‘My Mother Was a Teacher.’  Teachers are Always Digging in to Their Own Pockets (to Pay for Supplies and Necessities for Their Students) and it Was it Wasn’t a Priority to (Razenhoffer).  So in May, I Thought, Why Not? (Run for State Office).  I Thought, Why Leave it to Some Else?”

The Platform Altman’s Running On Includes Fair Taxation for All; Eliminating Corporate Tax Breaks That Do Not Result in the Creation of Jobs and Economic Grow; Passage of the Women's Equality Agenda; Ending Privatization of Public Education; Eliminating Excessive Testing of Students; and Creating and Maintaining a Living Wage for Workers.

Altman’s Been Endorsed by a Number of Area and State Labor Organizations, Including Her Own Union, as Well as the New York State AFL-CIO, the Local Bricklayers Union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Western New York Council, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), the United Auto Workers (UAW), the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW), Teamsters Local 449 and the Working Families Party.  She’s Also Been Endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice New York and Empire State Pride Agenda.

Surprisingly, the 61st District is Nearly Split Between Registered Republicans and Democrats, With GOPers Enjoying a 7,500 to 7,000 Margin – With the Rest Being Made Up of Conservatives and Independents.  However, the Latest Poll, According to Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) President Richard Lipsitz, Showed Altman Just Six Points Behind Razenhoffer.  “(Altman’s) Got the ‘Right Stuff’ and She’s a Pro-Worker Candidate.  She’s Good On the Issues and She Would be an ‘Improvement’ Over Razenhoffer,” Lipsitz Told WNYLaborToday.com.  “She Could Pull This Off.  Yes, She’s Got a Shot.  We’ll Work Hard for Her and We’ll See What Happens.”

While Altman is Yet Another Example of Local Union Leaders and Members Making a Decision to Run for Public Office, NYSUT Regional Director Mike Deely Jokingly Told WNYLaborToday.com That the Union “Tried to Talk Her Out of it.”

Kidding Aside, Deely said Altman is “One of Our Own.”

“She’s What We’re ‘All About,’” he said.  “It’s Not Easy to Run (for Public Office) and This is a State Senate Race.  She’s Gone Against Someone Who Can Raise ‘Big Money.’  She’s Depending On Those Who are Donating ($25 to $30 Each).  She Got in Because She Didn’t Want to Take (the Lip Service) Anymore.  She Has a Shot.  It Boils Down to Getting Our People Out (to Vote).  But, Who Better Than Us (Union Leaders and Members Running for Office) to Make the Decisions?  After All, We’re the Ones Paying Taxes.”

As Part of the Labor For Altman Push - NYSUT, Along With Organized Labor, is Focusing On as Many as Nine Labor Walks for Altman, as Well as Enlisting the Help of More Than 30 Individuals Who Will Man Phone Banks in the Coming Weeks.  NYSUT Also Donated Thousands of Yard Signs for the Altman Campaign.

Meanwhile, Altman says her Campaign Has Been “Uphill/Downhill,” But Relishes How “Awesome” it’s Been: “There are Some Pretty Hardcore Republicans Within the District That Tell Me: ‘No, I’m Republican… Don’t Talk to Me,’ But I’m Vested in This Community and I Choose to Have a ‘Voice’ (in What Happens).  Razenhoffer is a Two-Term State Senator Who’s Best Known for Standing Up On the Floor of the Senate for Forty-Five Minutes and ‘Defending’ Yogurt as a School Snack.  I Want to Ask Him, ‘Why Weren’t You There When it Came to School Funding?’  Onto Whose Backs Do You Think Those Cuts Went On?  And, Whose Side are You On?  He’s All Over the Place.  How Many Times Can You Listen to Someone Who Tells You They’re Going to Lower Your Taxes?  I Want to Know What are ‘You’ Doing About All of This?  We Need a Heightened Level of Accountability.”

WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: For More On Elaine Altman and Her Campaign for the 61st State Senate Seat, Go to: AltmanForSenate.com; www.facebook.com/pages/Altman-for-Senate/767943923246347; and twitter.com/AltmanforSenate.

 

 

 

 

 

With The Primary Election On Tuesday, SEIU Local 200 United Announces Its Early Endorsements of Candidates, Including Cuomo, Hochul, Schneiderman & DiNapoli

Published Sunday, September 7, 2014

(SYRACUSE) - Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200 United’s Executive Board Has Announced the Endorsements of the Following Candidates Who are Running for New York Statewide Offices: Governor - Andrew Cuomo; Lt. Governor - Kathy Hochul; Attorney General - Eric Schneiderman; and Comptroller - Thomas DiNapoli

SEIU Local 200 United Represents Nearly 15,000 Public and Private Sector Workers Across Upstate New York, Including Western New York.  The Union’s Membership are Employed as Direct Care Workers and Nurses, Administrative Assistants and Secretaries, Teaching Assistants, Food Service Workers, Bus Drivers, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Professionals, Municipal Workers, Security Guards, Janitors, Buildings and Groundskeepers, Maintenance Workers, Ticket Takers and Ushers, Cemetery Workers and Parking Attendants.

SEIU Local 200 United Representatives Based at the Union’s Syracuse Headquartered Underscored the Union Takes its Endorsement Process “Very Seriously” and Believes its “Important” to Provide the Candidates With An Early Endorsement. 

“All Have a Record of Supporting Our Members and Families and (SEIU Local 200 United) Believes Their Leadership Will Help Move the Progressive Agenda to Benefit Working Men and Women in New York,” Union Leadership said

SEIU Local 200 United Plans to Conduct Five Meet The Candidates Nights Around the State Before Announcing its Full List of Endorsed Candidates in Late September.

Union Representatives say All Endorsement Will be Approved by SEIU Local 200 United’s Executive Board, Which is Comprised of All Dues Paying Members.

 

 

 

Citing Their Commitment To ‘Standing Up For Working People,’ The Western New York Area Labor Federation Announces Its Endorsed Candidates For the 2014 Elections

Published Sunday, September 7, 2014

(WESTERN NEW YORK) – Just Before Primary Tuesday, The Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) - Which Serves as the Labor Umbrella Organization That Oversees the Five Central Labor Councils Across Western New York and More Than 100,000 Union-Represented Workers - Has Released its List of Endorsed Candidates Who are Running for Public Office in the 2014 Federal, State and Local Elections:  

 

  • U.S. Congress 23rd: Martha Robertson
  • U.S. Congress 26th: Brian Higgins

 

  • NY Senate 57th: Cathy Young
  • NY Senate 61st: Elaine Altman
  • NY Senate 63rd: Tim Kennedy

 

  • NY Assembly 141st: Crystal Peoples‐Stokes
  • NY Assembly 145th: John Ceretto
  • NY Assembly 146th: Steve Meyer
  • NY Assembly 149th: Sean Ryan
  • NY Assembly 150th: Barrie Yochim

 

  • NY Comptroller: Thomas DiNapoli

 

  • NY Attorney General: Eric Schneiderman

 

  • Supreme Court (Five Seats): Kevin Carter; Donna Siwek; Jeanette Ogden; Dennis Glascott; and Debra Givens.

 

  • Cheektowaga Town Justice: Melissa Reese

 

  • Buffalo City Court: Barbara Johnson-Lee

 

The Above Candidates for State and Federal Office Were Endorsed by Area Union Delegates to the Statewide COPE Convention That Took Place in August and Following Recommendations Made by the WNYALF.  

The Endorsed Judicial Candidates Were Nominated by a Committee of Labor Lawyers, Based On Evaluation of Their Perceived Strong Belief in Working Class Values, Openness to Labor Law Issues and Overall Qualifications for Judicial Office.

After the Elections, WNYALF President Richard Lipsitz said His Labor Organization “Looks Forward to Working With Our WNY Delegation in Washington and Albany to Advance the Priorities of Working Families.”  “These Priorities Include Raising the Minimum Wage, Holding Corporations That Receive Taxpayer Subsidies Accountable, Making Our Hospitals Safer for Patients and Staff, Strengthening Public Education and Ensuring Public Infrastructure Projects in New York Use American-Made Steel,” Lipsitz added. 

The WNYALF Oversees Five Central Labor Councils in Buffalo, Niagara-Orleans, Dunkirk, Jamestown and Cattaraugus-Allegany, Which Combine to Represent More Than 100,000 Union-Represented Workers.  The Mission of the WNYALF, Which Works Collectively With Those Labor Councils to Advance and Strengthen the Labor Movement Across Western New York, is to Improve the Lives and Increase the Power of Working Families, Bring Fairness and Dignity to the Workplace and Secure Social Equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Via cityandstateny.com: An Interesting Political Take On Why Organized Labor Has Not Rushed To The Front To Endorse New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo For Re-Election

Published Tuesday, August 19, 2014

(NEW YORK) - Four Years Ago, the New York State AFL-CIO Lined Up Behind Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s Candidacy for Governor, Even Though the State Teachers Union, An Influential Player Within The Broader Labor Coalition, Did Not Support Him.

This Year ,the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Has Again Declined to Endorse Cuomo, But the Teachers’ Union Went a Step Further by Trying to Block the State AFL-CIO From Endorsing the Governor’s Re-Election Bid, Sources Tell City & State.  

The Potential Loss of An Endorsement by the Labor Umbrella Group Comes at a Time of Strained Relations Between the Governor and Key Public Sector Unions.

NYSUT Again Opted Not to Make a Pick in the Governor’s Race and Another Member of the AFL-CIO, the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), Went Even Further, Backing One of Cuomo’s Democratic Primary Rivals, Zephyr Teachout, and Her Running Mate, Tim Wu.  Another Influential Union With the AFL-CIO, The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), Has Long Made it Clear That it’s Unlikely to Endorse the Governor.

Of Course, Some Private Sector Unions Have Had Friendlier Relations With the Governor. Cuomo Secured the Backing of the Labor-Backed Working Families Party Earlier This Year, and He Has Enjoyed Support From the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) And Building Trades Unions, Some of Which are Part of the State AFL-CIO. (One Major Labor Group That’s a Cuomo Ally, 1199 SEIU, is Not Part of the Umbrella Group.)

The Question of Whether to Officially Line Up Behind Cuomo or to Stay Out of the Governor's Race Was a Topic of Discussion at the State AFL-CIO’s Nominating Convention This Week.

One Former Labor Official said Late Last Week That NYSUT, PEF and the American Federation of City, State & County Employees (AFSCME) Councils - Including the CSEA - Were Banding Together in an Effort to Block a Cuomo Endorsement.

The Final Decision Will Gauge How Far the Labor Movement’s Willing to Go to Chide the Governor.  

Public Sector Labor Leaders Have Expressed Unhappiness With a Number of Steps Taken by the Cuomo Administration, From The Creation of a New Pension Tier to the 2% Property Tax Cap.  

Two Labor Leaders Who Were Elected After the 2010 Cycle - PEF President Susan Kent and NYSUT’s Karen Magee - Have Joined CSEA’s Danny Donohue in Channeling the Anger of Their Rank-And-File Members.

While Some Worry Public Sector Unions Will Push Too Far and Hurt Other Labor Groups, Others Say Solidarity’s Critical.

“My ‘Loyalty’ is to the Labor Movement ‘First’ and ‘Not’ to Elected Officials,” One Labor Leader said.

You Can Directly Access This Labor News Story at: http://cityandstateny.com/2/83/labor/nys-afl-cio-endorsement-for-cuomo-in-flux.html#.U_IIVcWpU1K

 

 

 

 

 

The NYS AFL-CIO Endorses Comptroller DiNapoli & Attorney General Schneiderman During The Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education Convention

Published Tuesday, August 19, 2014

(NEW YORK) – Highlighted by the Endorsements of State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the 2.5 Million-Member New York State AFL-CIO Announced its Endorsements of a Number of Candidates Who Are Running for State and Federal Office During the Labor Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education (COPE) Convention That Was Held in New York City On Monday (August 18th).

Those Western New York Candidates Who Received Labor Endorsements During the COPE Convention Included: Incumbents State Senator Catherine Young of the Southern Tier and Tim Kennedy of Buffalo, as well as Democratic Challenger Elaine Altman; and Incumbent Assembly Candidates Sean Ryan and John Ceretto.  U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins of Buffalo and Louise Slaughter of Rochester, Both Incumbents, and Democratic Challenger Martha Robertson in the Southern Tier, Also Received COPE Endorsements.

“Our Members ‘Want’ a State That Prioritizes the Creation of ‘Good, Long-Term Jobs’ and ‘Strong Investment’ in the Public Services ‘All’ New Yorkers Rely On.  But, ‘That Only Happens’ if We Elect the ‘Right Candidates’ to Office,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said.  “Union Members From Throughout the State Will Work Together in a Coordinated Effort to Ensure Our Endorsed Candidates, and in Turn An Agenda That ‘Puts Workers and Their Families First,’ are Successful On Election Day.”

Members Will be Contacted On the Job and at Home Through Member Mailings, Worksite Flyers, Phone Bank Operations and a Labor-to-Neighbor Program - Where Union Members Visit Other Members in the Area to Discuss a Particular Race.

For More On This Labor News Endorsement Story and to View the Entire List of State Assembly and Senate Candidates, Go to: http://nysaflcio.org/new-york-state-afl-cio-announces-endorsements-in-state-senate-and-assembly-elections/.

 

The Following is a List of Several Other Endorsement Announcements Made at the COPE Convention and Direct Links to View the Entire List of Endorsed Candidates in Those Specific Races:

NYS AFL-CIO Announces Its Endorsement Of Comptroller DiNapoli

(NEW YORK)  - The New York State AFL-CIO Has Endorsed Tom DiNapoli for Re-Election as New York State Comptroller.

“Comptroller DiNapoli Understands Working Men and Women are the ‘Backbone’ of This State and That Our Economy ‘Rises and Falls’ as They Do,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said at the Labor Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education (COPE) Convention That Was Held in New York City.

As Sole Trustee of the State Pension System, Comptroller DiNapoli Has Effectively Led the Fund to Record Levels.  While These Results Ensure the Retirement Security of Public Employees, the Comptroller’s Investments in New York Businesses Also Help Create Private Sector Jobs in New York State.  In Addition, as the State’s Fiscal Watchdog, the Comptroller Has Helped Shine a Spotlight On Waste in Programs, Including Industrial Development Agencies, Where it’s All Too Common for Corporations to Take Public Money - But Fail to Produce Promised Jobs.

“From His Staunch Defense of the Defined Benefit Pension System to His Efforts to Safeguard Their Hard-Earned Tax Dollars, ‘No One Does More’ to Protect Working People Than

Comptroller DiNapoli,” Cilento said.  “We are ‘Proud’ to Endorse Tom DiNapoli and Will Coordinate ‘Get-Out-The-Vote’ Efforts Throughout the State to Ensure the Comptroller’s Re-Elected.”

Addressing Those Labor Leaders and Delegates Assembled at the COPE Convention, Comptroller DiNapoli said: “I’m ‘Honored’ to Receive the Endorsement of the New York State AFL-CIO and ‘Proud’ to Have the Support of the Hard-Working Union Men and Women of this State.  As Your Comptroller, I Will Continue to Champion the Issues That Matter to Our Middle Class, Including Strengthening Our Pension Fund and Protecting Taxpayer Dollars From Waste and Fraud.  Alongside President Cilento and New York’s (Union) Members, We Will Continue the Work to Make This State a Better Place for Our Families to Work and Live.”

For More On This Labor Endorsement Story, Go to: http://nysaflcio.org/dinapoli-2014/.

 

The NYS AFL-CIO Announces Its Endorsement Of Attorney General Schneiderman

(NEW YORK) - The New York State AFL-CIO Has Announced its Endorsement of Eric Schneiderman for Re-Election as New York State Attorney General. 

“From Securing Seven Figure Settlements for Underpaid Taxi Drivers to Prosecuting Unscrupulous Construction Contractors for Prevailing Rate Violations, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Has ‘Stepped Up Time and Time Again’ to Protect Hard-Working New Yorkers,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento Said At The Labor Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education (COPE) Convention That Was Held In New York City.  “What’s Most Gratifying is That ‘So Many Of These Cases’ Were the Result of Collaboration ‘With’ Labor.  Attorney General Schneiderman Knows Unions are An ‘Essential Partner’ in the ‘Fight for Fairness’ for ‘All’ Workers.”

Addressing Those Labor Leaders and Delegates Assembled at the COPE Convention, Attorney General Schneiderman said: “I’m Incredibly Honored to Have the Support of the New York State AFL-CIO.  They Speak With the ‘Combined Voices’ of Two and a Half Million Members and Family Members, and ‘When They Speak,’ the Rest of New York ‘Listens.’  It is ‘Thanks’ to the Help of the New York State AFL-CIO and the Entire Labor Community That My Office Has Been Able to Successfully Combat Wage Theft and ‘Win Justice’ for Working Families. With Them by My Side, I Look Forward to Spending the Next Four Years Fighting to Make Our State Even Stronger.”

For More On This Labor Endorsement Story, Go to: http://nysaflcio.org/schneiderman-2014/

 

NYS AFL-CIO Announces Its Endorsements For U.S. Congress

(NEW YORK) – The New York State AFL-CIO Has Announced its Endorsements of U.S. Congressional Candidates Running for the House of Representatives. 

“Critical Issues Like Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the Minimum Wage and Infrastructure Spending Have ‘Languished’ at the Federal Level, and New York ‘Needs’ a Strong Delegation That Will Give Congress the ‘Kick Start’ it So Desperately Needs,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said at the Labor Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education (COPE) Convention That Was Held in New York City.  “With Our Help On Election Day, Our Endorsed Candidates Will be That ‘Strong Voice’ in Washington D.C. for New York’s Hard-Working Families.”

For More On This Labor Endorsement Story and An Entire List of Congressional Endorsements, Go to: http://nysaflcio.org/new-york-state-afl-cio-announces-endorsements-for-congress/.

 

 

 

 

 

WNY Labor Issues Major Support & Commitment For State Senator Tim Kennedy

Published Sunday, August 17, 2014

(BUFFALO) – From the New York State AFL-CIO to Dozens of Individual Buffalo Area Labor Unions, Which Collectively Represent Tens of Thousands of Workers, Organized Labor Very Publicly Issued its Support to Re-Elect State Senator Tim Kennedy (Democrat-Buffalo) During a Major Event That Was Held at the Downtown Buffalo Headquarters of 1199 Service Employees International (SEIU) Healthcare Workers East Late Last Week.

From the Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council to the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Labor Leader After Labor Leader Stepped Forward to Offer a Ringing Endorsement of Senator Kennedy, Who’s Widely Described as a True Friend of Labor Here in Western New York.

“The Western New York Area Labor Federation is Very Pleased to Endorse the Re-Election Campaign of Senator Tim Kennedy,” Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) President Richard Lipsitz said. “He Has Been a ‘True Friend’ to Our Organization and He ‘Never Forgets’ the Day-to-Day Struggles of Ordinary Working People.  Tim Kennedy’s Proven Himself to be a ‘Champion’ of the Labor Movement and We Will ‘Work Tirelessly’ to See He’s Re-Elected.”

The WNYALF is the Umbrella Labor Organization That Oversees Five Individual Central Labor Councils Across Western New York: Buffalo; Niagara-Orleans; Dunkirk; Jamestown; and Cattaraugus-Allegany.  Collectively, the WNYALF Represents More Than 100,000 Unions Workers Across the Region and Counts as its Affiliated Unions Those Labor Organizations Who’ve Also Endorsed Senator Kennedy for Re-Election.

Meanwhile, the New York State AFL-CIO, Which Represents More Than 2.5 Million Workers Across the State, Also Endorsed Kennedy, Citing His Relentless Fight for Western New York’s Working Families.  Said New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento in a Distributed Statement: “Senator Tim Kennedy Has Been a ‘Fearless Advocate’ On Behalf of Hard-Working Western New Yorkers and Labor is ‘Proud’ to Stand With Him in His Campaign.  We Share Tim’s Commitment to Strong Public Services and to Creating Good, Long-Term Jobs, and We Look Forward to Continuing to Work With Him After His Re-Election to Ensure We Achieve Those Goals.”

Kennedy’s Been a Strong, Unwavering Voice Who’s Fought for Western New York and He’s Over the Course of Time Made the Issues That Matter Most to Working Families His Top Priorities as a State Senator, Focusing On Vital Initiatives Such as Creating Family-Sustaining Jobs, Improving Public Education, Strengthening Neighborhoods, Boosting Infrastructure Investment, Ensuring Western New York Gets its Fair Share of State Resources and Protecting the State’s Most Vulnerable.

In Accepting Labor’s Endorsements, Kennedy said: “I’ve Long Fought to Ensure the ‘Voices’ of Western New York’s Working Men And Women are ‘Heard’ in the State Capitol and I’m Proud and Honored to Have Earned Their Support.  The Fights I Take On are ‘Their’ Fights.  It’s ‘Their Concerns’ That I Work Hard to Address Each Day.  Western New York’s Working Families Know They Can ‘Count On Me’ to Fight for Them, and With This Outpouring of Support, I Know I Can Count On Them Too, as We Head Into (the Primary Election) On September Ninth.  Western New York’s Hard-Working Families Have My Word: ‘As Long as I’m Their State Senator, I’ll Keep Fighting for Them Every Single Day.’”

However, in What Was More Than Just Announcing Their Support, the Unions Who Have Endorsed Kennedy, and Their Members. are Also Working for Kennedy.  Several Labor Organizations Have Already Sent Volunteers to Kennedy’s Campaign to Make Phone Calls and Knock On Doors, and the WNYALF’s Planning a Massive Labor Walk That Will be Held On Thursday, August 28th When Workers Will Canvass Western New York’s Neighborhoods in Order to Encourage Voters to Support Kennedy in the Primary Election.

Those Unions That Have Endorsed Kennedy Include: 1199 SEIU; NYSUT; the Buffalo Building Trades Council; Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Locals 1342 and 1625; Boilermakers Local 7; BCTGM/Grain Millers Local 36G; Bricklayers &Allied Craftworkers Local 3; AFSCME District Council 35 and AFSCME Local 264; Carpenters Local 289; Cement Masons Local 11; CSEA; CWA District One and CWA Locals 1122, 1133, 1168 and 14148; International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 121; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 41; the International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators; Longshoreman Local 1949; Elevator Constructors Local 14; International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 17; Ironworkers Locals 6 and 9; IUPAT/Painters District Council 4; Laborers Local 210; National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 3; Office & Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153; the American Postal Workers Union (APWU); Teamsters Locals 264 and 449; U.A./Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 22; and United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 774.

Here’s What Some of Those Labor Leaders in Attendance at Friday’s Event Had to say:

CWA Local 1122 President Jim Wagner: “Senator Kennedy - Time and Again - Has Proven to be a ‘Voice’ and ‘Staunch Advocate’ for the Ordinary Working Men and Women of Our Western New York Community.  Local 1122 Members are Proud to Work and Eager to Stand With Senator Kennedy in Our Fight for Fairness and Equity for Ordinary Working Men and Women Here in Western New York.”

UAW Region 9 CAP Director Paul Schuh: “Over the Past Four Years, Senator Tim Kennedy’s Continually Demonstrated His Support for Labor and Working Families in Not Only Western New York, but for ‘All’ of New York State.  He’s Earned Our Support and the UAW Will Not Abandon Him Now.  We Wholeheartedly Support Tim Kennedy and Look Forward to Working With Him in the Next Legislative Session.”

NALC Branch 3 President Larry Kania: “Whether Walking Picket Lines, Promoting Initiatives for the Elderly or Introducing Legislation, Senator Kennedy’s Proven He Supports the Working Class.”

Teamsters Local 264 Brian Dickman: “Senator Kennedy Has An ‘Outstanding Record’ Fighting for Labor and Working Families.  Teamsters Local 264 is Proud to Support Him for Re-Election. He’s Been There for Us and We’ll be There for Him Throughout This Campaign.”

CWA 1168 President and Registered Nurse Cori Gambini: “As the President of a Union Representing Health Care Workers, and a Nurse Myself, I Know Senator Kennedy Understands the Hard Work We Do and the Obstacles We Face.  He’s a ‘Voice’ for Us and Our Patients in Albany.”

UUP/University at Buffalo Chapter President Tom Tucker: “Senator Kennedy’s Been a ‘Tireless Advocate’ for Higher Education in the State University at New York System.  We in UUP Sincerely Appreciate All His Efforts in Supporting Us and We’ll Be There - One-Hundred-Percent - to Support Him in His Re-Election.”

West Seneca Teachers Association President Joe Cantafio: “Tim Kennedy is, and Has Been, a ‘Leader’ in Albany - Standing Up for Our Students.  Senator Kennedy Did His ‘Homework’ Early On and Stood Up Against the Over-Testing of Our Students.  He ‘Stood Up’ and Asked the Tough Questions ‘Before Anyone Else’ and Before it Became ‘Politically Popular.’  We Need to Keep Tim Kennedy Fighting for Our Kids, Our Future.”

Ann Converso of CWA 1168: “Senator Kennedy is a Health Care Worker and Understands the ‘Needs’ of Those at the Bedside.  He Was ‘Front and Center’ On the Safe Patient Handling Bill, Which Finally Passed.  He’s Also Out Front Fighting for Improved Quality of Care With the ‘Safe Staffing For Quality Care’ Bill.  Nurses, Patients and ‘All’ Who Rely On Our Health Care System ‘Need Someone’ Like Senator Kennedy Fighting for Us.”

 

 

 

 

The Civil Service Employees Association Announces Endorsement Of NYS Comptroller DiNapoli/CSEA President Donohue Says: “He’s Done The Job Well And Continues To Work For The People Of New York”

Published Tuesday, August 5, 2014

(ALBANY) – The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) – New York’s Leading Union – Has Once Again Formally Announced its Endorsement of New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

CSEA President Danny Donohue – Whose Statewide Public Employees Union Represents 300,000 Members - said the Decision Was Based On “Continued Confidence” in DiNapoli’s Demonstrated Honesty and Effectiveness as Comptroller Since 2007, Coupled With His Unblemished Record as a Public Leader.

“Tom DiNapoli’s Done the Job Well and Continues to Work ‘for’ the People of New York,” the CSEA President said. “The State Comptroller’s Office ‘Works With’ Complete Professionalism, Providing Fiscal Guidance and Oversight to Local Governments and State Agencies Alike. Under Tom’s Leadership, the OSC’s Demonstrated Resourcefulness, Cooperation and Integrity.”

“Every Day, I Work Alongside Members of CSEA and it is an Honor to Receive Their Endorsement,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “I Share Many of the Values for Which This Organization Stands: Integrity, Hard Work and Accountability.  Alongside President Danny Donohue and CSEA’s (300,000) Members, I Will Continue Our Work Protecting Taxpayer Dollars From Waste, Fraud and Abuse, While Ensuring Our Pension Fund Remains One of the Strongest in the Nation.”

CSEA Has Long Viewed the State Comptroller With Singular Importance to CSEA Members, Union Representatives said.  As the Sole Trustee of the State Pension System, the State Comptroller’s Judgment and Decisions Have Enormous Implications Over the Retirement Security of More Than 300,000 Retired and Active CSEA Members.  In Fact, CSEA Was Instrumental in Helping Establish the State Retirement System Back in 1920.

“In a Challenging Time, Tom and His Staff Have Produced Outstanding Results for the State Pension Fund, Providing Financial Security for Public Workers – Allowing Them to Continue to Live and Pay Taxes in New York – Along With Strong Benefit for Taxpayers,” Donohue Said. “He’s Done a Difficult Job Fairly and Responsibly for All Concerned.  We Should All Have Complete Confidence in Tom DiNapoli’s Leadership Going Forward.”

Another Important Factor in CSEA’s Decision to Back DiNapoli, Donohue said, is the Unwavering Support for Him From CSEA Members Who Work in the Comptroller’s Office.  “It Continues to Speak Volumes About Tom as an Individual and a Manager That the People Who ‘Know Him Best’ are Urging This Endorsement,” the CSEA President said.

 

 

 

 

 

Via www.capitalnewyork.com: 1199 SEIU Ends Long-Time Deal With Senate Republicans

Published Thursday, June 5, 2014

(ALBANY) - For the First Time in More Than a Decade, New York State Senate Republicans Are Not Getting Any Money From 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers East - the State's Powerful Health Care Workers' Union - at Election Time. 

“We Won’t be Giving ‘Any’ Money to the Republicans,” 1199 SEIU’s Political Director Kevin Finnegan Told capitalnewyork.com. “We Haven’t Since the Last Election Cycle.  We Normally Don’t Endorse or Make Contributions Until After the Session’s Over, but We’re Definitely ‘on Board’ With a Democratic-Coordinated Effort to Take Back the Senate.”

1199 SEIU is One of a Handful of Labor Groups, Including the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the Retail Wholesale & Department Store Workers (RWDSW) and the Hotel Trades Council That Have Agreed to Form a Coalition - Along With Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Members Of The Working Families Party (WFP) - to Help Democrats Take Control of the Senate, Which The Republicans Have Controlled for All But Two of the Last 50 Years.

Cuomo Committed to Helping Democrats as Part of the Multi-Varied Terms of His Recent Endorsement Deal With the WFP.  The Governor and the Union Coalition Will Pool Resources and Create a $10 Million Fund to Spend on Democratic Senate Races.

1199 SEIU’s Finnegan said the Union Would Not Rule Out Endorsing Some Republican Senators in Individual Races, but said Such an Endorsement Would be Unlikely in Districts With Competitive Two-Party Races.  “I Don’t Know of Any Races That are Competitive Where We Would be Supporting a Republican,” he said.

That Decision Represents a Sea Change in How 1199 SEIU Wields its Influence in the New York State Senate.  For More Than a Decade, the Union Has Been One of the Senate GOP’s Most Important Allies.

To Read the Rest of This Labor News Story, Go to: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2014/06/8546527/1199-seiu-ends-longtime-deal-senate-republicans

 

 

State Senator Kennedy of Buffalo Earns Working Families Party Endorsement – Described As “Tested And Proven Champion For Hard-Working Families in Western New York”

Published Friday, May 16, 2014

(BUFFALO) – The Working Families Party (WFP) Has Endorsed Incumbent Democrat Tim Kennedy (Pictured Above) - Who Serves the Residents of Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Lackawanna – for New York State Senator in the 63rd District, it was Announced This Week.  WFP Representatives Cited Kennedy’s Relentless Commitment to Improving the Quality of Life for All Local Families and His On-Going Work to Boost Economic Opportunities for All.

Kennedy’s Made the Issues That Matter Most to Working Families His Top Priorities as a State Senator, WFP Officials said. Since Taking Office in the Senate, He’s Focused on Vital Initiatives, Such as e Creating Family-Sustaining Jobs, Improving Public Education, Strengthening Neighborhoods, Boosting Infrastructure Investment, Ensuring Western New York Gets its Fair Share of State Resources and Protecting New York State’s Most Vulnerable.

“Senator Tim Kennedy is a ‘Tested and Proven Champion’ for Hard-Working Families in Western New York and Across the State,” Western New York WFP Chapter Co-Chair Paul Schuh, of the United Auto Workers (UAW), said. “Senator Kennedy Constantly Works Hard for Working Families and His Record Proves it – ‘Leading the Fight’ for a Higher Minimum Wage, Pushing to Create Good-Paying Jobs, Working to Strengthen Our Neighborhoods, Fighting for Local Schools, and ‘Standing Up’ for Vulnerable Populations.  Senator Kennedy’s Always Been There for ‘Us.’  And We’ll Be There for ‘Him’ in His Re-Election Campaign.”

Kennedy said: “All Working Families Deserve a Fair Shot at Living the ‘American Dream,’ and That’s Why I’ve Always Fought for Good-Paying Jobs, Stronger Schools, Access to Economic Opportunities, Revitalized Neighborhoods and Improved Quality Of Life.  I’m Thrilled to Have the Support of the Working Families Party, Which Espouses Those Values Most Important to Blue-Collar, Hard-Working Families Who Call Western New York Home.  Fairness, Opportunity and Equality for ‘All’ Will Remain Guiding Principles as I Continue Our Collective Fight to Strengthen and Grow the Middle Class.”

Senator Kennedy’s Been a Fierce Advocate for Working Families in Western New York.  He’s Joined Workers on Picket Lines to Fight for Fair Wages and Good Jobs.  He Also Led the Fight to Increase the Minimum Wage Last Year and Continues to Push for Passage of the New York State Fair Pay Act.  Kennedy’s Fought for Increased Investment in Public Transportation and to Rebuild the State and Region’s Crumbling Roads and Bridges.  He’s Stood Up to Banks Whose Negligence Has Brought Blight to Area Neighborhoods and He’s Pushed to Restore the Public’s Faith and Trust in Their Government With Comprehensive Reform to Prevent and Crack Down on Corruption.

On Another Front, Kennedy’s Worked to Improve Public Education by Pushing for Increased State Aid for Local Schools.  In 2011, He Voiced Opposition to a Proposed State Budget That Reduced School Funding, But Cut Taxes for Wall Street Millionaires and Billionaires.  In the End, Kennedy’s Stand Helped Turn the Tide to Ensure the Wealthiest Paid Their Fair Share to Support Schools.

Kennedy Has Also Pushed for Expanded Workforce Development Initiatives to Ensure Area Residents Have the Opportunity to Learn Necessary Skills to Secure Good-Paying Jobs Being Created in the Growth Sectors Fueling Our Region’s Resurgence.  

Protecting Children and Families Has Also Been a Top Priority for Kennedy With His Efforts to Improve Protection Services for Children, Strengthen Laws Against Child Abusers and Increase Resources for Programs That Aim to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect.

“Western New York’s Hard-Working Families Have My Word: ‘As Long as I’m Their State Senator, I’ll Keep Fighting for Them Every Day,” Kennedy said.

 

 

 

Western New York Labor Endorsement Round-Up For Erie County Sheriff Candidate Richard Dobson, Niagara County Legislature Candidates Mark Grozio & David Naus and Erie County Family Court Judge Candidate Paul Crapsi

Published Monday, September 9, 2013

The Following is a Western New York Labor Endorsement Round-Up For Erie County Sheriff Candidate Richard Dobson, Niagara County Legislature Candidates Mark Grozio & David Naus and Erie County Family Court Judge Candidate Paul Crapsi:

·    Erie County Sheriff’s Candidate Richard Dobson has Received the Endorsement of the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

·    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 237 President David Naus, who is Running for the Niagara County Legislature’s 11th District, has Received the Endorsement of United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 9.

·    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 237 Union Representative Mark Grozio, who is Running for the Niagara County Legislature’s Third District, has Received the Endorsement of the Western New York Communications Workers of America (CWA) Council.

·    Erie County Family Court Candidate Paul Crapsi, a Public Employees Federation (PEF) Member, has been Endorsed by the Following Labor Unions/Organizations: Ironworkers Local 6; The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association; American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 35; International Union of Painters & Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 4; The City of Tonawanda Police Benevolent Association; and Teamsters Local 449.

The Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Makes Its 2013 Political Endorsements

Published Thursday, September 5, 2013

(BUFFALO) – The Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council has Released its 2013 Political Endorsements.  They are as follows:

 

Mayor of Buffalo: Byron Brown (Democrat)

 

Erie County Comptroller: Kevin Gaughan (Democrat)

 

Erie County Legislature:

District 1: Timothy Hogues (Democrat)

District 2: Betty Jean Grant (Democrat)

District 3: Lynn Marinelli (Democrat)

District 4: Bill Conrad (No Party Affiliation)

District 5: Tom Loughran (Democrat)

District 5: Al Getter (No Party Affiliation)

District 8: Wynnie Fisher (Democrat)

District 9: Mike Schraft (Democrat)

District 10: Lauren Gray (Democrat)

 

Amherst Town Supervisor: Mark Manna (Democrat)

 

Amherst Town Board: Ramona Popovich (Democrat) & Patricia Dunne

 

Cheektowaga Town Board: Richard Maisano

 

Hamburg Town Board: Michael Quinn (Democrat) & Cheryl Potter-Juda (Democrat)

 

Hamburg Town Highway Superintendent: Ted Casey (Democrat)

 

Lackawanna City Council: Abdulsalam Noman (Democrat) – First Ward 1st

 

Orchard Park Town Board: Lynmarie Phillips (Democrat)

 

City of Tonawanda Council: Richard Slisz (Democrat)

 

West Seneca Town Council: William Hanley (Democrat)

The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Endorses Several Candidates Running For The Niagara County Legislature, Niagara Falls City Council & North Tonawanda City Council

Published Tuesday, August 13, 2013

(NIAGARA FALLS) – The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council has Announced Its Endorsements for those Candidates Running for the Niagara County Legislature, the Niagara Falls City Council and theNorth Tonawanda City Council.

The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council’s Political Action Committee (PAC) Chairman Nick Zawacki Announced the Following:

In Those Races for the Niagara County Legislature: Mark Grozio, Third District; Owen Steed, Fourth District; Jason Zona, Fifth District; Dennis Virtuoso, Sixth District; Michael NeMoyer, Seventh District; Chris Srock, 10th District; David Naus, 11th District; Anthony Molinaro, 12th District; and Joshua Walker, 15th District.

In Those Races for the Niagara Falls City Council: Samuel Fruscione and Russel Vesci, and for the North Tonawanda City Council: Darlene Bolsover.  

NYS Senator Tim Kennedy Of Buffalo Brings Aboard Former National Association Of Letter Carriers/Branch 3 President Robert McLennan As His New Staff Labor Liaison

Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note:  Pictured Above, Former and Recently-Retired National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)/Branch 3 President Robert McLennan (on the Left) shakes the hand of New York State Senator Tim Kennedy outside Kennedy’s District Office in South Buffalo.  McLennan was recently brought aboard as Staff Labor Liaison for Senator Kennedy here in Western New York and is believed to be the only Labor Liaison working for any of the Area’s Elected Leaders.  (WNYLaborToday.com Photo)

 

(SOUTH BUFFALO) – Robert McLennan’s career as a Member with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)/Branch 3 Union in Buffalo spanned 32 years as a U.S. Postal Service Employee, a Union Steward, Branch 3 Vice President and then Local NALC President, a position he served in for nearly 23 years.  In addition, he served 18 years as an Executive Board Member with the Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and as an Executive Board Member with the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Foundation since its inception in 2001.

Now McLennan, who recently retired, has decided to take on a New Challenge as Staff Labor Liaison for New York State Senator Tim Kennedy (Democrat) of South Buffalo. 

McLennan started in March and his hit the ground running, meeting with a variety of Local Public and Private Unions, as well as Building Trades – making them aware of his New Position with Senator Kennedy and building bridges between the Labor Community and a Respected Public Official who has a Long and Consistent Track Record of Supporting a Variety of Issues that Positively Impact both Organized Labor and Working People.

“I was very interested in this – right away,” McLennan told WNYLaborToday.com during a sit-down interview with Senator Kennedy in his District Office in South Buffalo.  “It marks my belief in Tim.  If I didn’t believe in Tim, I wouldn’t be here.”

“I am here to help our Friends and Allies in Organized Labor,” McLennan continued.  “There will never be any Lack of Communication (between Senator Kennedy and the Area’s Labor Movement).  That shouldn’t happen and I am learning how intricate (the Labor Movement here is) between City, State, County and Federal Workers, and the Building Trades.  Now Tim will be able to get the ‘Full Story’ (from Labor through McLennan’s efforts).”

Referring to the Staff Labor Position, Kennedy – himself a Union Member with SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 200 United - told Your Regional, On-Line Labor Newspaper that “this is ‘not’ a Job – it’s a ‘Lifestyle’ to do better things for Working People across the board.  We want to know the Issues and have all our bases covered.  We don’t want to miss anything.”

In regards to the decision to bring McLennan – whose Union represented Federal Employees – aboard, Kennedy added: “I went right to Bob and (McLennan) was the only one I talked to (about being his Staff Labor Liaison).  He’s lived ‘Labor’ and he’s been successful.  His expertise is outstanding and he’s ‘done everything.’  He was a perfect fit.”

McLennan also made it a point to say that while NALC/Branch 3 represented U.S. Postal/Letter Carriers who are Federal Employees, the only exception the Union had made under his Long-Time Leadership to Endorse individual Erie County Candidates – where Kennedy once served as a County Legislator – was to support Kennedy because of his Strong Track Record in Standing Up for Worker’s Rights.  “That’s why we backed him,” McLennan said.

It is WNYLaborToday.com’s belief that McLennan is the only Staff Labor Liaison that any Elected Representative in Western New York maintains at this time. 

In the past there have been at least two others: Bill Greeley of the Buffalo Ticket-Takers/Ushers Union who worked with U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins here in Buffalo, and the International Association of Machinists’ (IAM) Tom Wisniewski, who was once employed by former Congressman Jack Quinn of Buffalo and then with Quinn’s son, who also served in State Government representing the Hamburg Area.

In the time to come, McLennan will mirror Kennedy’s efforts on the State Level, reaching out, talking to and working with the Western New York Labor Movement as Kennedy continues to step forward to help stop the attacks on Working People, ranging from Big Business’s Efforts to Dismantle the Scaffold Law, as well as Collective Bargaining – just two of so many issues important to Working People, Labor Unions and the Labor Movement.

“We’re fighting to Protect Binding Arbitration.  We were successful in getting it removed from the last State Budget (which would have dramatically and negatively impacted Police and Fire Unions).  The Farm Workers Bill and Voting Reform are also important too,” Kennedy said.

In addition, Kennedy and McLennan told WNYLaborToday.com that Kennedy and State Assemblyman Sean Ryan – another Supporter of Organized Labor and Workers’ Right – will team up to partner on a series of Periodic Labor Roundtables.  A variety of Area Labor Leaders and Representatives will be invited, including the first that is being set up and scheduled for June 6th at the Hearthstone Manor in the Buffalo Suburb of Depew.

The National AFL-CIO Maps Out Final Voter Push For President Obama & Democrats

Published Saturday, October 20, 2012

(WASHINGTON) - The Nation’s Largest Federation of Labor Unions plans to knock on more than five million doors, make five million phone calls and blanket Battleground States with 12 million pieces of mail in the final four days leading up to the November 6th Election.

Billing the undertaking as its Final Four Get-Out-The-Vote Plan, the National AFL-CIO will be pouring its resources into 25 States that hold Key Congressional Races, with a concentration in Presidential Swing States like Ohio and Nevada.

“It’s a culmination in that we have steadfastly tried to make the case to Working People that this Election is about ‘their’ economic future, that there are two very different paths that the two Parties want to take them down,” National AFL-CIO’s Political Director Michael Podhorzer said. “If we continue to bring these points home to people, we’ll see unprecedented turnout.”

In the run up to the Election, the AFL-CIO has registered more than 450,000 New Voters and gotten 200,000 Voters to Cast their Ballots early.  

Podhorzer said those numbers are the largest he’s seen since coming to the National Labor Organization in 1997, and he attributed much of that enthusiasm to the attacks on Public Bargaining Rights in places like Wisconsin and Ohio over the previous two years.

“Part of the reason we’ve been more successful is because of the State Attacks,” he said. “I think that Republicans who went after us in State after State in most cases found they kicked a hornet’s nest.  A lot of Union Members, who may not have seen the value in being involved, became much more ready to do so.”

But it isn’t just Union Members that the AFL-CIO has targeted in its Get-Out-The-Vote Efforts.

Thanks to changes in Election Law in the wake of Citizens United, Unions can now knock on the doors of Non-Union Members, giving them new influence and helping them expand their ground games.  AFL-CIO Campaigns Manager Sasha Bruce said the Labor Organization’s Super PAC, Workers Voice, and its Non-Union Affiliate, Working America, have made the Group’s Overall Field Operation “bigger than ever.”  Being able to approach Non-Union Voters who are “blended in” with Union Workers, particularly in States like Wisconsin, has allowed volunteers to knock on twice as many doors as in years past, Bruce said.  “We’re talking to people who think just like our Members,” she added.

Unions have traditionally supplied much of the ground game for Democrats leading into Elections.  With the race tightening in Battleground States and Obama’s lead slipping in Polls, Podhorzer said the more than 120,000 Volunteers deployed by the AFL-CIO could play a critical role for the President in the Final Days of the Election: “While the race is taking quite a turn in the last week, week and a half, the Public Numbers on Union Support for the President have held pretty steady.  We want to bring that Vote home.”

IBEW Local 41 Union Member Chuck Gilbert Running Against Incumbent Robin Schimminger For 140th District New York State Assembly Seat

Published Thursday, October 18, 2012

(TONAWANDA) – Chuck Gilbert, a Union Member Represented by IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 41, is seeking election to the New York State Assembly and faces Incumbent Robin Schimminger in the 140th District Race.

Why is Gilbert, who is employed as a Foreman with MJM Electric in Buffalo, running?

“I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck,” Gilbert tells WNYLaborToday.com.  “I started out making Minimum Wage and worked my way up to being a Foreman of a local Electrical Company.  I’m the ‘only’ Candidate that’s held a Private-Sector Job and I’m the ‘only’ Candidate that’s ‘walked a mile in your (Working People’s) shoes.’"

Interestingly enough, Gilbert – who has the endorsement of the Working Families Party, as well as endorsements from the Communications Workers of American, his own Union/IBEW Local 41, and the Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council, whose 18 Member Unions combine to represent more than 10,000 Workers – is running on the Republican line.

So how exactly does a 42-year-old Union Member run as a Republican?

It seems several years ago, Gilbert ran against an Incumbent Democrat for City of Tonawanda Councilman, on the Republican Line, and won election to a two-year term.

“It’s not about the (Political) Party, it’s about the issues,” Gilbert told WNYLaborToday.com.  “I wear my Union Pin on my lapel when I’m out in public.  It’s who I am.  I stand up for Labor Rights.  I stand up for Project Labor Agreements.  I stand up for Working Families.  I don’t hide it.  And, in fact, of the last thousand people I’ve talked to during this campaign, only one has told me that ‘they were not into Unions.’”

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Born and raised in the City of Tonawanda, a Tonawanda High School Graduate and a married father of four (ages 21, 10, 10 and seven), Gilbert tells Your Regional, On-Line Labor Newspaper that his campaign “is going very well.”

“I’m receiving more support every day and have had a great ability to get my message out.  I want to help bring more Jobs to Western New York, more Union Jobs.  I want to help lower Taxes to help Small Business create Jobs.  I don’t want to get rid of Project Labor Agreements, which have proven to keep costs down, employ Local Workers and keep dollars local.  We need to make New York a ‘Business-Friendly State.’  More business in New York means more Jobs and less people leaving this great State.  And, I also want to focus on Education.  If want to continue to get my message out, by going door-to-door with the help of Organized Labor,” said Gilbert, who’s worked at MJM Electric for 12 years – the last five as a Foreman.

Gilbert is a Member of the City of Tonawanda Youth Board and has been extremely active in the Local Community, serving as a Coach in the Little League Baseball and Football Leagues in the City of Tonawanda.  He’s also coached Girls’ Softball.  As a Member of the Tonawanda Council, he worked on and helped implement a Drug Policy for City Employees, worked on an Ethics Board, on a Nepotism Policy and helped cut the City Budget, as well as bring in a State-of-the Art Skate Park in the City of Tonawanda, which is free to the Public, Gilbert tells WNYLaborToday.com.

Schimminger, meanwhile, has represented the 140th Assembly District for 36 years – a District that includes all of the Town of Tonawanda, the City of Tonawanda, the entire Village of Kenmore, a portion of North Buffalo and Black Rock, including all of Riverside, all in Erie County, and most of the City of North Tonawanda in Niagara County

Asked why he’d choose to run against such an entrenched Democratic Assemblyman, Gilbert – whose birthday is a day before Election Day – told WNYLaborToday.com: “This was a tremendous opportunity when it came up and I decided to jump into it.  Ever since, the support I’ve received has come in like a flood.”

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The 300-Thousand-Member Civil Service Employees Association Announces Statewide Union’s ‘Limited’ New York Legislative Endorsements

Published Sunday, August 26, 2012

(ALBANY) – The 300,000-Member Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) has endorsed only a limited number of Candidates in New York State Legislative Races This Fall.  Why?  Because CSEA President Danny Donohue says: “Many Lawmakers who have long enjoyed CSEA Support will not have it this year because they abandoned the Working People of this State.  CSEA is holding Lawmakers accountable for their actions.  The CSEA endorsement has to ‘be earned’ or else it has no meaning."

The Limited Endorsements come following extensive review within CSEA.  For two years, CSEA Officials say Lawmakers Rubber-Stamped State Budgets that undermined State Operations and Shortchanged Localities and Schools as they forfeited Oversight Responsibility on important Public Policy Issues.  In addition, they also imposed a Property Tax Cap that is causing Fiscal Chaos in Local Government and School District Budgets.

Additionally, Lawmakers made a dark deal with Governor Andrew Cuomo last spring - trading support for onerous and unnecessary Public-Employee Pension Tier Changes in exchange for favorable Legislative Redistricting.

CSEA's Limited Endorsements are only going to Candidates who stand with Working People.

CSEA Endorsement normally brings Financial Contribution, Statewide Get-Out-The-Vote Expertise - Mailings, Phone Calls, Printing, Grassroots Volunteers and other Benefits - along with Internal Union Resources and Activities to reach the extensive CSEA Membership in every part of the State.

"CSEA Members will aggressively campaign for our Endorsed Candidates," CSEA President Donohue said. "Just as important, beyond this Election we will work to mobilize Members to be ‘even more involved’ in the Legislative Process - regularly communicating with Elected Officials and challenging them when they don't do ‘what's right’ for Working People."

CSEA, meanwhile, also released its Endorsements for Federal Races, topped by support for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

"Senator Gillibrand has been an outstanding advocate for New York and a ‘voice of reason’ within the U.S. Senate," Donohue said. "Our Congressional Endorsements also reflect support for Candidates and Challengers who will ‘stand up’ for Reasonable and Responsible Government that works for ‘all’ Americans."

CSEA - New York's Leading Union - represents 300,000 Public Employees across the State, including Workers employed in its many Counties, Towns, Villages, School Districts, Library Systems, Authorities and Public-Benefit Corporations. Together with a growing population of Private-Sector Members and Retirees, CSEA is the largest affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which is one of the largest affiliates of the National AFL-CIO.

 

2012 CSEA Endorsements

United States Senate: Kirsten Gillibrand

 

New York Congressional

CD 1: Timothy Bishop
CD 3: Steve Israel
CD 4: Carolyn McCarthy
CD 5: Gregory Meeks
CD 6: Grace Meng
CD 7: Nydia Velazquez
CD 8: Hakeem Jefferies
CD 9: Yvette Clarke
CD 10: Jerrold Nadler
CD 12: Carolyn Maloney
CD 13: Charles Rangel
CD 14: Joe Crowley
CD 15: Jose Serrano
CD 16: Eliot Engel
CD 17: Nita Lowey
CD 18: Sean Patrick Maloney
CD 19: Julian Schreibman
CD 20: Paul Tonko
CD 21: Bill Owens
CD 23: Nate Shinagawa
CD 24: Dan Maffei
CD 25: Louise Slaughter
CD 26: Brian Higgins
CD 27: Kathy Hochul

 

New York State Senate

SD 4: Ricardo Montano
SD 11: Tony Avella
SD 12: Michael Gianaris
SD 13: Jose Peralta
SD 15: Joseph Addabbo, Jr.
SD 18: Martin Malave Dilan
SD 20:" Eric Adams
SD 21: Kevin Parker
SD 23: Diane Savino
SD 27: Brad Hoylman
SD 28: Liz Kruger
SD 33: Gustavo Rivera
SD 34: Jeffrey Klein
SD 40: Justin Wagner
SD 55: Ted O'Brien
SD 60: Michael Amodeo

 

New York State Assembly

AD 3: Dean Murray
AD 5: Alfred Graf
AD 6: Phil Ramos
AD 9: Joseph Saladino
AD 12: Andrew Raia
AD 14: David McDonough
AD 25: Jerry Iannece
AD 31: Michele Titus
AD 32: Vivian Cook
AD 34: Michael DenDekker
AD 35: Jeffrion Aubry
AD 38: Michael Miller
AD 39: Francisco Moya
AD 42: Rhoda Jacobs
AD 43: Karim Camara
AD 47: William Colton
AD 49: Peter Abbate, Jr.
AD 52: Joan Millman
AD 59: Alan Maisel
AD 60: Inez Barron
AD 66: Deborah Glick
AD 76: Micah Kellner
AD 77: Vanessa Gibson
AD 78: Jose Rivera
AD 79: Eric Stevenson
AD 80: Naomi Rivera
AD 81: Jeffrey Dinowitz
AD 85: Marcos Crespo
AD 86: Nelson Castro
AD 90: Shelley Mayer
AD 91: Steve Otis
AD 92: Thomas Abinanti
AD 93: David Buchwald
AD 94: Andrew Falk
AD 97: Ellen Jaffee
AD 98: Annie Rabbitt
AD 99: James Skoufis
AD 101: Claudia Tenney
AD 103: Kevin Cahill
AD 104: Frank Skartados
AD 106: Didi Barrett
AD 111: Angelo Santabarbara
AD 113: Carrie Woerner
AD 118: Marc Butler
AD 127: Al Stripe, Jr.
AD 128: Sam Roberts
AD 135: Mark Johns
AD 141: Crystal Peoples-Stokes
AD 149: Sean Ryan

The New York State United Teachers Union Announces Its Endorsements In Nearly 200 New York State’s Assembly & Senate Races

Published Sunday, August 26, 2012

(ALBANY) -  New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union has announced its endorsements in nearly 200 State Senate and Assembly Races, backing Incumbents and Challengers the 600,000-Member Labor Organization believes advocates for Working Families while fighting against policies that would harm Students, their Public Schools and Colleges, as well as Organized Labor.

NYSUT’s Board of Directors voted to issue the Endorsements after a three-day, intensive Endorsement Conference in which Political Activists reviewed two years of Voting Records for Incumbents, while also heavily weighing the working relationships that Union Leaders — on the Local, Regional and State Levels — have built with their Elected Representatives. 

NYSUT’s Board of Directors endorsed in 43 of the 63 State Senate Races - backing 34 Democrats and nine Republicans.  The Union chose not to endorse in 20 Races.  In the Assembly, NYSUT is backing 102 Democrats and 16 Republicans, while remaining neutral in 32 Races.  In some Races, the Board may review its decision not to endorse after the September Primary.  To View and Download NYSUT’s entire Endorsement List, go to: http://www.nysut.org/cps/rde/xchg/nysut/hs.xsl/mediareleases_18184.htm

“We’re living in extraordinarily complicated Political and Fiscal Times and that was certainly reflected in the passion and resolve expressed by Activists during our discussions,” NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi said.

No single vote served as a litmus test, NYSUT Representatives said.

Instead, Iannuzzi explained: “Activists sorted through the ‘bad votes’ on Tier Six, record Budget Cuts and the Undemocratic Property Tax Cap, but they also weighed the important ‘wins’ — balancing Votes that Legislators cast on the Millionaires’ Tax, killing a proposed $250 million Competitive Grant Program for School Districts, dramatically increasing funding for SUNY, CUNY and Community Colleges and protecting the Privacy of Teacher Evaluations.  These are Votes that helped Students, Teachers and New York Families, and can serve as ‘building blocks’ for a better future.”

NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta, meanwhile, said the Grassroots Endorsement Process — in which Local Union Presidents and Political Activists make recommendations to the NYSUT Board of Directors — served as a sounding board for Members’ “deep disenchantment” over painful Budget Cuts and Layoffs that are jeopardizing years of progress in New York’s Public Education System.  

Pallotta noted when Schools open in September, they will be operating with $1.1 billion less in State Support than in 2008-09, as well as some 35,000 fewer Teachers and Para-Professionals helping Students learn.

“Voting Records are just one way to measure a Candidate’s support for the issues our Members are concerned about,” Pallotta said. “We also looked hard at whether or not an Incumbent or Challenger is an outspoken advocate for Public Education and if a Senator or Assembly Member enjoyed excellent relationships with Local Leaders and are willing and able to use the ‘bully pulpit’ of their office to appeal to the Public on issues important to NYSUT Members.”

On another note, Pallotta noted that many of the more than 300 Political Activists attending the three-day Political Meeting expressed deep dissatisfaction with some Assembly and Senate Members — in both political parties.

“While NYSUT is looking forward to better times, and for places we can repair and rebuild relationships, too many Activists have ‘had enough’ and, not only refused to endorse some incumbents, but want to throw the full weight of the Union behind select challengers.  For them, Albany ‘is not working.’ They see Student Programs slashed, Class Sizes increasing, Schools being shuttered and their Colleagues thrust onto the Unemployment Line.”

Pallotta said Candidates earning a NYSUT endorsement would benefit not only from Financial Support, but from “feet on the street” — the efforts of thousands of Volunteers operating the State’s Largest Phone Bank Operations, Handing out Literature, attending Rallies and Strongly-Supporting Candidates who support the issues they care about: Quality Public Schools, Colleges and Health Care for all New Yorkers.

NYSUT, the State’s Largest Union, represents some 600,000 Classroom Teachers and other School Employees, Faculty and other Professionals at the State’s Community Colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other Education and Health Professionals.  NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA) and AFL-CIO.

The New York State AFL-CIO Announces Its Endorsements For U.S. Senate & Congress, As Well As For The New York State Assembly & Senate

Published Thursday, August 23, 2012

(NEW YORK) – The 2.5-million Member New York State AFL-CIO has announced the endorsement of United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as the Endorsements of Candidates running for the House of Representatives – announcements that were made this week during the State Federation’s 32nd Constitutional Convention in New York City.

“The Labor Movement has stood with Senator Gillibrand from the beginning and we’re proud to continue to support her as she runs for re-election,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said.  “She’s become a Leader on the issues important to our Members – Creating Good Jobs in New York State, Strengthening the Middle Class, and Ensuring Access to Quality Education and Health Care.  What happens in Washington, D.C. has a ‘real and tangible’ impact on the Lives and Economic Well-Being of Working Men and Women throughout the State.  Union Members cannot afford to sit idly on the sidelines.  The Labor Movement will engage our Members at the Local Level to make sure hard Working New Yorkers, ‘not’ Corporate Special Interests, decide who represents us in Washington.”

As part of an overall effort, the New York State AFL-CIO and its Member Unions intend to Contact, Inform and Educate Union Members while On-the-Job, at Home through Member Mailings, through the distribution of Worksite Fliers, Phone Bank Operations and a Labor-To-Neighbor Program, where individual Union Members visit other Union Members in their home areas in order to discuss a particular race.

Western New York Congressional Representatives Louise Slaughter, Brian Higgins and Kathy Hochul were among those Congresspeople endorsed by the State AFL-CIO.

For a full list of the State AFL-CIO’s Senate and Congressional Endorsements, visit: http://nysaflcio.org/congressionale_endorsements/

Meanwhile, the State AFL-CIO announced its Endorsements of Candidates running for New York State Senate and Assembly.  The full list of State Assembly and Senate Endorsements can be accessed at: http://nysaflcio.org/2012copeconvention/.

“The endorsement of the New York State AFL-CIO is not just a ‘piece of paper.’  We will coordinate Grassroots Campaigns and ‘Get Out The Vote’ efforts throughout the State to ensure our Members understand the critical issues in these Elections and just how important it is that they get to the Polls and support our Endorsed Candidates,” Cilento said.

Western New York Assembly Representatives Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Sean Ryan, and Senate Representatives George Maziarz and Tim Kennedy, received Endorsements on their re-election bids from the State AFL-CIO.

New York State AFL-CIO Endorses Re-Election Campaign Of Western New York Assemblyman Sean Ryan/President Mario Cilento Says Ryan Has “Proven To Working Men And Women He Will Stand Up For His Principles”

Published Wednesday, August 1, 2012

(ALBANY) - The New York State AFL-CIO has endorsed the re-election campaign of Democratic New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan of Western New York in the ) in the 149th Assembly District, the Statewide Labor Organization that represents 2.5 million Union Members and 14,000 Working Men and Women in Ryan’s Assembly District.

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said in a distributed statement: "In less than a year, Sean Ryan has already left his mark on the Assembly.  He’s proven to Working Men and Women across Western New York that he’s not going to be pushed around, and he will stand up for his principles.  Our Unions and their Members are proud to support Assemblyman Ryan because we need Leaders who aren't afraid to fight for Workers and their Families in Albany."

"It’s an honor to receive the support of the New York State AFL-CIO and all the Hard-Working, Middle-Class New Yorkers who are represented by this great Labor Organization,” Assemblyman Ryan said.  “I plan on continuing my fight to reform our IDA (Industrial Development Agency) System so that the IDAs can no longer waste our Tax Dollars, and I will advocate for policies that strengthen Middle-Class Families in New York.  Most importantly, I promise to continue to deliver results for the Working Men and Women of Buffalo, Lackawanna and Hamburg."

Teamsters Endorse Obama/Union Pledges To Put ‘Boots On The Ground’ For Re-Election Effort

Published Monday, July 30, 2012

The Teamsters Union has endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election with the enthusiastic support of 2,000 Members gathered at the Union’s Annual Unity Conference.

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa threw the question out to the assembled Teamsters: “Do we want to endorse Barack Obama for President?”

The response was a resounding “Yes!” and a standing ovation.

The General Executive Board had given Hoffa the authority to endorse Obama and several Vice Presidents spoke from the floor, urging him to make the endorsement as soon as possible.

“If we think the ‘War on Workers’ is tough right now, put (GOP Presidential Candidate) Mitt Romney in office and you’ll see how tough it is,” International Vice President John Coli said.

Enthusiasm for Obama was equaled if not exceeded by dislike of Romney, described as a Vulture Capitalist.

Loud booing was the answer to Hoffa’s question: “Does anybody want Mitt Romney?”

Shortly after the endorsement, Teamsters inside the Conference Hall got a surprise phone call from President Obama, who told them America would look a lot different without them.

General President Hoffa gave Obama the news that the Teamsters had just endorsed his re-election:  “They realize there’s a ‘War on Workers’ and they realize there’s only one person fighting that fight. That’s you.  Go get ‘em, we endorse you all the way.”

The President’s voice came over the loudspeaker: “Thank you for the endorsement.  In these years that I’ve been in office, I’ve seen and appreciated how you support the American Economy and Social Justice, a tradition that goes back more than one-hundred years.  America would look a lot different ‘without’ the Teamsters.”

Obama said the biggest question over the next few years is how to reclaim security for the Middle Class after a decade in which the Middle Class has taken it on the chin.

“That starts with putting people back to work,” Obama said.

The President recounted the challenges he faced when he took office: “We lost more jobs in the month I took office than we did in the previous sixty years.”  Since 2010, his
Administration helped create more than 400,000 Manufacturing Jobs - many of them in the auto industry.

The President told the Teamsters that America needs to restore some basic values that made this Country great, beginning with rewarding work instead of speculation.

“We have ‘boots on the ground,’ justice in our hearts and we’re going to win in November. We’ve got your back,” Hoffa told Obama.

Replied Obama: “I’ve got yours.  I could not be prouder to have your endorsement.”

Western New York State Senator Tim Kennedy Receives Working Families Party Endorsement

Published Thursday, June 21, 2012

(BUFFALO) – The Working Families Party (WFP) has endorsed New York State Senator Tim Kennedy in his Re-Election Bid, citing his pursuit of Better-Paying Jobs for Western New Yorkers and relentless advocacy on behalf of Middle-Class Families.

“I’m honored to receive the Working Families Party Endorsement,” Kennedy said.  “When I was elected into office only seventeen months ago, Albany was home to the most dysfunctional Legislature in the Nation.  I vowed to change the way our State Government operates and I look forward to continuing to move our State in a new direction.”

Throughout his first term in the Senate, Tim Kennedy has taken an aggressive approach to governing.  When funding to local Schools was in jeopardy of being slashed, yet Wall Street Millionaires were slated to receive a Tax Bailout, Kennedy led the charge to ensure that our
children were protected and that Wall Street paid its fair share.  Kennedy stood strongly opposed to the proposal and helped mount a Statewide Effort to overturn it.

“Tim Kennedy has consistently stood up for the hard-working families of Western New York,” said WFP Co-Chair and United Auto Workers Representative Paul Schuh.  “He’s brought a blue-collar mentality to the State Capitol and he’s worked tirelessly on issues that are important to this area - like Job Creation and Economic Development.”

Since being elected in 2010 after defeating 30-year incumbent Bill Stachowksi and Republican Jack Quinn, III, Kennedy’s worked to Create Jobs, Protect Children and Families and stand up for Western New York.  He now seeks re-election in the 63rd district, which includes the City of Buffalo, the town of Cheektowaga and the City of Lackawanna.

For more information, please visit: www.timkennedyforsenate.com.

The New York State AFL-CIO Endorses Western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul’s Re-Election Bid/President Mario Cilento Says Hochul “Understands The Strength Of Our State And Our Country Depends On A Vibrant Middle Class”

Published Thursday, June 14, 2012

The New York AFL-CIO Labor Organization, which represents 2.5 million Union Members across New York State, has endorsed U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Hochul of Western New York in her re-election campaign.

“I am pleased to announce the New York State AFL-CIO’s endorsement of Kathy Hochul,” said New York State President Mario Cilento, whose Labor Organization represents 80,000 Working Men and Women in the 27th Congressional District that Hochul presently serves. 

“Congresswoman Hochul shares the values of Working men and Women throughout Western New York.  She understands that the strength of our State and our Country depends on a vibrant Middle Class.  In just a short time in office, Congresswoman Hochul has shown that she’s willing to take on tough fights on behalf of the Working Families she proudly represents.  This is an important race for the future of Western New York and the Workers who call it ‘home.’  By endorsing early, the New York State AFL-CIO will get a jump start in coordinating a comprehensive grassroots campaign to get our Members to the polls and send Kathy Hochul back to Congress,” Cilento said.

Congresswoman Hochul said: “I’m humbled to have the endorsement of an organization that represents so many Hard-Working Men and Women around our great State.  This election is going to be about protecting our Middle Class and our Seniors, and I know that we are going to win that battle.  It’s a privilege to fight everyday for the people of my District and I look forward to continuing that work.”

The 1.6 Million-Member American Federation Of State, County & Municipal Employees Endorses President Obama For Re-Election/Says AFSCME President McEntee: “Obama Is The ‘Only Choice’ For The Ninety-Nine-Percent”

Published Tuesday, December 6, 2011

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union announced today (Tuesday, December 6th) its endorsement of President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012.

“President Obama is the ‘only choice’ for the ninety-nine-percent.  We must put people back to work, make the one-percent pay their fair share and protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.  President Obama will stand up for Working Families,” said AFSCME President Gerald McEntee after the Union’s International Executive Board passed a resolution of endorsement.  “Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have a prescription for the U.S. economy that was written by the same corporate interests that got us into this mess in the first place.  We’ve all seen the depths the right-wing extremist governors will go to at the expense of Working Families, and we certainly don’t need that type of leadership in the White House.  The GOP candidates just don’t ‘get it,’ they are out of touch with reality.  We believe that American voters are smarter than that and will say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to their one-percent agenda and work to re-elect President Obama to a second term.”

AFSCME’s Executive Board will now begin an extensive conversation with Union Members and non-members nationwide.  In 2008, AFSCME launched a one-of-a-kind nationwide effort to elect President Obama.  AFSCME recruited more than 40,000 activists, made more than six million calls to its Union Members and deployed hundreds of staff to 17 key battleground States to ensure a victory.

“It’s unbelievable the GOP leadership and presidential candidates are so eager to protect the Bush Tax Breaks for millionaires that they are willing to cut off benefits for the long-term unemployed and repeal a payroll tax cut,” added Michael Ebersole, a Highway Maintenance Technician for the Florida Department of Transportation and Local 3106 AFSCME Member.  “President Obama’s call to invest in innovation and infrastructure that will put people back to work today and build a strong foundation for the future is what this country needs.  I intend to work day and night to ensure this president gets a second term.”

AFSCME's 1.6 million Members provide the vital services that make America happen.  With AFSCME Members in hundreds of different occupations - from Nurses to Corrections Officers, Child Care Providers to Sanitation Workers - AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all Working Families.

Labor Endorsements

‘Yet Another’ OPEIU Member Running For Public Office - WNY’s 24-Year-Old Steve Meyer Seeks NYS Assembly’s 146th District Seat, Is One Of The Youngest Candidates Seeking State-Elected Office Across The ‘Entire’ U.S.

Published Sunday, November 6, 2016

(AMHERST, NEW YORK) – After just profiling Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Member Shaun Francis’s campaign to win the 43rd New York State Senate District Seat in Downstate New York, it was brought to WNYLaborToday.com’s attention that there is yet another OPEIU Member running for state government – and he’s right here in Western New York.

And that candidate - OPEIU Local 153 Member Steve Meyer, who is seeking the New York State Assembly’s 146th District Seat against an incumbent Republican that he’s running against for the second time in recent years - is said to be one of the youngest candidates looking to gain state-elected office across the entire United States.

“I’m believed to be ‘either’ the fourth- or -fifth-youngest person running for a state legislature seat - in fact, there are two eighteen year olds running against each other in a race ‘somewhere’ across the country,” Meyer told WNYLaborToday.com as he looks forward to Election Day on Tuesday, November 8th. 

“I ‘figure this is a time in my life when I really care about my community,’” continued Meyer, who is seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Ray Walter - for the second time in recent years.  “I’ve seen a lot of people who I grew up with ‘move away’ and ‘I want to make sure this is a place where they can stay.’  I have ‘a lot of energy and passion.’  Walter has ‘misrepresented’ this district and ‘I think people are ready for something new.’”

Asked whether his age may be seen as a negative to voters within the district that includes the Buffalo Suburb of Amherst and stretches north up into the Niagara County Town of Pendleton, Meyer tells Your On-Line Labor Newspaper: “Being ‘young is a good thing.’  I’m ‘not a professional politician.’  I have a ‘clean slate.’  Other candidates ‘don’t have that.’  I’m a ‘hard-working person who believes in hard work, integrity and honesty.’  I was ‘raised that way.’”

Meyer tells WNYLaborToday.com that he’s a “Pro-Worker Candidate” who’s running on several important issues, including: Campaign Finance Reform; Reforming Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs); Investing in education; and Improving our aging infrastructure.

“My campaign has been ‘fantastic,’” he said.  “I’ve ‘averaged knocking on one-thousand doors a week’ and voters have been ‘receptive.’  The issues I’m running on ‘are not partisan.’  ‘Who can’t agree on campaign reform, reforming IDAs and investing in education for our children and (repairing and upgrading) our infrastructure?’”

Meyer - who’s a small businessman (whose business assists other small businesses “get off the ground” and grow), has been a Member of OPEIU Local 153 since January 2015 when he started working as a Community Organizer for the Erie County Democratic Party in Buffalo: “I’m ‘proud’ of being a Union Member.  I’ve participated in a number of pickets and rallies across the district.  Labor Unions ‘stand up’ for their Members.  What the ‘brotherhood’ means to me is to have a Union to ‘believe in.’  We’re ‘all hard-working people’ who ‘believe in community success’ and, we’re a ‘network’ of people ‘who share the same ideas’ – including ‘fighting for fairness’ in our workplaces.”

“I’m a ‘strong supporter’ of public education and I would like to see tax credits ‘shifted’ to more locally-owned businesses instead of ‘big box stores’ that create ‘low-paying’ jobs.  And, I believe we need to ‘reform’ Industrial Development Agencies, which hand out ‘corporate welfare.’  They were set up with ‘good intentions,’ but they ‘are not’ helping create jobs.  They’re just ‘handing out free revenue’ so others can ‘reap the benefits’ of tax revenue.  I’m ‘really excited about helping attract and grow’ renewable energy companies, which create ‘high-paying’ jobs, as well as ‘improve’ our infrastructure network,” he said.

Meyer previously ran against Walter, losing the race by about a 10% margin.  With the district being “fifty-fifty” when it comes to a Democratic/Republican breakdown – Meyer believes he has a good chance at unseating the incumbent this time around.

“I’m not in this for ‘myself’ and I’m not ‘running through this gauntlet’ or putting myself through this again ‘for fun,’” Meyer told WNYLaborToday.com.  “My opponent even hired an ‘impersonator’ who ‘sounds like me’ in his radio ads.  I’m doing this to ‘fight for’ those who live in this district.  This is the ‘gist’ of this: ‘We deserve better and we need those in state office who will stand up and support those in our community and Working People alike.’”

“The last time a Democrat won this district was in 1972 (with John LaFalce, who later went on to represent the area as a U.S. Congressman),” he added.  “What we need to do is ‘make sure’ we get voter turnout this time.”

OPEIU Local 153 Business Representative Robert McLennan tells WNYLaborToday.com that Meyer is a “great young candidate” who’s been “unfairly attacked” by Walter in his radio ads.

“He is a ‘bright, young guy - someone we need in public office,’” McLennan said.  “He’s a Member of our Union and ‘he believes in the Union Movement.’  When he’s elected he will ‘protect’ the Middle Class.  ‘He’s a kid that we need.’”

WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: For More on Steve Meyer, Visit his web site at: www.electstevemeyer.com and his Social Network/Facebook Page at: www.facebook.com/electstevemeyer/?fref=ts.  And to Read About OPEIU’s Shan Francis’s Campaign for the 43rd New York State Senate District Seat in Downstate New York, Go to: http://www.wnylabortoday.com/index.php.

 

Yet Another Example Of A Union Leader Getting Involved To ‘Make Things Better For All:’ OPEIU’s Shaun Francis Runs For 43rd New York State Senate District Seat

Published Wednesday, November 2, 2016

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK) – As he’s gone door-to-door over the past several months talking to the voters who live in the 43rd New York State Senate District, Democratic/Working Families Party Candidate Shaun Francis has spoken to a lot of Working People, residents who are also Union Members employed by government and in education in Columbia County and across parts of Saratoga, Washington and Rensselaer counties.

And it has become more and more apparent, he tells WNYLaborToday.com in a telephone interview from the Albany-area, just days before the November 8th Election, that when the dust settles, if Working People are going to prosper in the future, they have to elect candidates who are 100% - “from issue one to issue one-hundred” – in support of “our” agenda.

“I know people ‘get frustrated’ (with those elected officials who aggressively seek the support of Organized Labor, but tend to take a back seat from time to time in regards to the issues important to Labor once in office), but (Unions) ‘need’ candidates who are ‘supportive of every single one of our’ issues,” the 37-year-old Francis told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper. 

“I’m a ‘Labor Candidate,’ that’s what I’m running as - but ‘we have to go further than that.’  We have to ‘cultivate our own’ candidates (from within Organized Labor),” he continued.  “We have to ‘go out and find our own.’  We ‘need’ people who ‘understand’ (what Working People face and have to go through).  We ‘need’ people who fight ‘unfair’ workplace practices, handle grievances and negotiate contracts.  That’s ‘how important it is to have our own Members make the decision to run for office.’  Then when someone like myself is elected, ‘you don’t have to explain the issues to me because I’ve lived it.’  We’ll be ‘well-served’ by those from ‘our own’ ranks.  ‘Win or lose, I will be doing more of this’ (find candidates from within Organized Labor to run for office).”

The Wilton resident is a former professional minor league baseball umpire who later served as president of the Independent Association of Minor League Umpires Union from 2007 to 2012. 

He played an integral role in helping the Umpires Union affiliate with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), which was so impressed with Francis that Union Leadership offered him an International Representative/Organizer position, which he initially worked in the off-season before becoming a full-time rep, while maintaining the position of Executive Director of the Umpires’ Union.

Michael Goodwin, OPEIU’s former National President who now serves as Region II/Local 153’s Business Manager, hired Francis for the position. 

“He was such a ‘great’ talent,” Goodwin told WNYLaborToday.com of Francis.  “I hired him as an International Rep.  He is such a ‘quality’ person who has ‘good, progressive values.’  ‘I couldn’t be more proud of him.’  I’m ‘very optimistic he will make it over the finish line’.  He has a ‘great’ future.”

Goodwin also echoed what Francis had said about the need for Organized Labor to find those within its own ranks to run for public office: “It’s critical.  The Labor Movement gets ‘screwed’ by many of those who are elected.  We ‘need more’ Union Members in office because Workers ‘are much better’ (when it comes to understanding what Working People need).”

Said Francis: “With OPEIU, I became ‘very active” in politics (and was involved in a number of races that received support from his Union), including the 2012 Presidential Race and Gubernatorial and Senate races in Alaska.  When I came back home, I found myself ‘turned off’ by my current elected representative, (State Senator Kathleen Marchione), who was an ‘extreme Right Wing zealot.’  She was ‘against everything,’ including being ‘Anti-Worker.’  I just decided that I ‘didn’t want her to represent me anymore.’”

That’s when Francis began thinking about making a run for the 43rd Senate District Seat, even though – admittedly, the Democratic Party had not targeted the seat.  Republicans do hold a nearly 7,000 vote advantage in the 212,000-plus district, but Francis is buoyed by its past history of voting for Democrats.

“(The Democratic Party) ‘hadn’t made a full effort’ (in ousting the incumbent Republican), they ‘hadn’t put their shoulder into it’” he said.  “I began my run in January 2015.  ‘I believed if I ran a good campaign, I could win’ – because it was going to be a Presidential Election year and the Republican district was won by President Obama in 2012 and that (New York/U.S. Senators Charles) Schumer and (Kirsten) Gillibrand had also won the district in their past races.”

While he said he does not have the monetary budget his Republican opponent has, Francis has recently started running TV, radio and print ads and has received a number of Labor endorsements (OPEIU, the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainsmen  the Communications Workers of America, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Iron Workers, the New York State Nurses Association, and the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters).

He is also receiving additional help from a number of Unions, including Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200, which is mailing out informational fliers to their Members who live in the district. 

“I’ve gotten a lot of ‘positive’ feedback,” Francis said of his campaign.  “Being a Union Member ‘is not frowned upon here’ like in ‘other’ places, like Texas.  Unions ‘aren’t looked at negatively.’” 

Francis is running on a number of issues, including: The need to rebuild our infrastructure of today and to build the modern infrastructure of tomorrow; Providing quality public education, regardless of zip code; Standing up for women’s rights; Growing our main streets; Providing clean, safe and healthy drinking water for all; Working to protect our planet; and Working to prevent gun deaths while protecting our 2nd Amendment Rights (For More on Francis and his campaign, go to: www.shaun-francis.com/home-1.html).

However, campaign finance reform and wiping out corruption in Albany politics is a major campaign issue for Francis.

“It’s the ‘money’ in politics that ‘creates’ the corruption,” he told WNYLaborToday.com.  “We ‘need’ publicly-funded campaigns because ‘we cannot sustain’ the ‘bought and paid for.’  We ‘need to fight and lead the way on this.’  You ‘can’t allow’ candidates to ‘outspend’ their opponent ‘on the way’ to winning an election.”

Yet Another Union Member ‘Making A Commitment To Making Things Better - For All’ - United University Professions’ Monica Wallace Campaigning To Win The 143rd Buffalo-Area NYS Assembly Primary Election

Published Wednesday, September 7, 2016

(LANCASTER, NEW YORK) – Much has been written on the elected officials who once represented the Western New York Towns of Cheektowaga and Lancaster, and the Villages of Lancaster, Depew and Sloan, as New York State’s 143rd New York State Assembly representative.  While the sordid story of scandal, sexual harassment, abuse of power and overall constituency disappointment is a well-known one here in Western New York, Labor-endorsed Candidate Monica Wallace is aiming to change that after making the decision to get into the race in order to make things better for those who live, work and raise their families across the district. 

The United University Professions (UUP) Union Member, an attorney who now teaches at the State University at New York (SUNY) Buffalo Law School, is the latest in long line of Union Members and Activists across Western New York who’ve made a decision to run for public office over the past several years.

Wallace (Pictured Below/WNYLaborToday.com Photo) is facing off against an opponent in the September 13th Democratic Primary who also carries with her a tarnished past, one that Wallace hopes will have voters focusing more on reform than voting for an individual who could bring more unneeded baggage to a seat that has already endured enough shame.

“I am an ‘outsider’ to the process,” Lancaster resident Wallace told WNYLaborToday.com during a recent sit-down interview.  “I worked in the Federal Court System where you had to ‘serve with the highest integrity.’  There’s been ‘a lot of frustration’ (from the district’s constituency) with the ‘incompetency’ of those who’ve served the district.  The question was: ‘Why aren’t there better people running?’  So, I thought, there were ‘two’ choices: ‘Do nothing’ or ‘run as someone who will bring about change.’”

Organized Labor is squarely behind Wallace with the Democratic candidate receiving a number of area endorsements, including backing from the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) and the New York State AFL-CIO, the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Ironworkers Local 6, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades (IUPAT)District Council 4, the Public Employees Federation (PEF), the Teamsters, and the UUP-affiliated New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union.

UUP President Fred Kowal, whose Statewide Union represents more than 35,000 Academic and Professional Faculty on 29 SUNY Campuses - in addition to System Administration and Empire State College, said in a telephone interview with WNYLaborToday.com from Albany that Wallace is "incredibly well qualified."

"I've gotten to know her and she is 'brilliant,'" Kowal said.  "It's a 'proud moment' for (UUP) to have 'one of our own' (running for the State Assembly).  She has a 'long and distinguished career' in the judiciary and she's an 'outstanding' Faculty Member.  And she really 'exemplifies' what UUP 'is all about.'  Our Members 'work for the public good.'  It's 'all about public service' and Monica is 'committed' to public service.  She told me she would 'only run' (for public office) is she could 'make a difference.'  UUP is always looking for 'allies' to push forward our agenda, which is a 'New York State agenda.'  She'll be a 'fantastic' (Assemblywoman)."

WNYALF President Richard Lipsitz said in a WNYLaborToday.com interview: “I’ve gotten to know her through her UUP connection.  She’s ‘very smart.’  She asked us for ‘our advice’ – she wanted to know what the ‘entire’ Labor Movement ‘was all about.’  She’s a ‘quality person’ and I ‘mean’ that.  She’s 'knows about' Labor Unions and Worker issues and we believe she’ll ‘make good’ on ‘putting an end’ to the problems that have occurred with those who’ve been elected in the past to that seat.”

NYSUT Regional Staff Director Mike Deely tells Your On-Line Labor Newspaper that Wallace is ‘special.”  “We’re talking about her being a ‘quality’ human being.  I feel the woman has the ‘ability to serve’ in ‘higher office.’  She’s ‘unique’ and I believe, ‘top shelf.’  This job is ‘not for the weak’ - she’s a ‘gamer.’”

Wallace told WNYLaborToday.com that she was the first person in her family to attend college, and that she “understands the importance” of education and the value of hard work.  She received her law degree from SUNY Buffalo Law School and her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Binghamton, where she graduated with high honors.  The married mother of two is active in the legal community and has served on several community boards, including the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, the Lancaster YMCA and Neighborhood Legal Services.  

Wallace (Pictured below, speaking to NYSUT’s Deely on a recent picket line and standing with CWA Members during the Verizon Strike) has also been endorsed by the Working Families Party.  She could be seen at numerous rallies and pickets over the summer involving the CWA and NYSUT.  She says she did so because she herself knows the worth of having a voice in the workplace as a UUP Member and for her love and dedication to education for all children.

“My grandfather was a Teamster, as was his father,” said Wallace, who was raised by a single mother.  “He was ‘old school’ Italian.  He worked ‘very hard’ and I remember him doing things himself, like building a shed in his backyard – laying the foundation, putting up the walls, adding a window and putting on a roof.  I learned ‘resiliency’ from him.  He had it ‘tough’ growing up.  He was in an orphanage and after he got married to my grandmother, a fire burned their house down.  They ‘lost everything’ and they had to ‘start all over again.’  I grew up in a family that went to the mailbox, waiting for a child support check that ‘didn’t come.’  We qualified for ‘free lunch’ (growing up), but I went to work and worked my way through college and law school.  I was the first in my family to go to college.  That’s why I ‘believe’ education is ‘essential’.”

“What ‘impresses me’ about Labor is the ‘voice’ NYSUT brings to the table ‘on behalf’ of public education so ‘important issues can be discussed on a level that wouldn’t be heard (without it),’” she continued.  “And it’s ‘important to show solidarity,’ that you ‘stand with’ your fellow Union Members and ‘support’ them.  I think it’s ‘important’ for a public official to ‘speak out on behalf’ of Labor – ‘amplify the call’ to bargain fairly.”

Wallace tells WNYLaborToday.com she’s running on a three-point platform: Ethics Reform; Better Education Opportunities and Funding; and Investing in Western New York’s crumbling Infrastructure, as well as holding those in power accountable when public funding is given to entities that receive tax breaks in return for promising job creation.

While running to “restore integrity” and be a strong, ethical voice for our community, Wallace says that – if elected, she pledges to hold herself to the highest professional standards.  She believes the district needs a leader who understands complex issues of law and policy and appreciates how decisions made in Albany impact Working People every day.

With a victory in next week’s primary, Wallace will inch closer to making her goal a reality for not only the residents and taxpayers of the 143rd Assembly District, but for Working People and their families.

National AFL-CIO Endorses Hillary Clinton For President

Published Saturday, June 18, 2016

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The General Board of the 12.5 million Member National AFL-CIO has voted to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

The endorsement reflects a comprehensive, democratic process that was initiated one year ago to capture the interests of the 12.5 million Working People the National Labor Federation represents, Union Officials said.

Beginning immediately, the National AFL-CIO will put in motion its ground campaign to elect Clinton and Union-endorsed candidates across the country. 

National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pledged that “we will run a sophisticated, targeted ground campaign.”

“Hillary Clinton is a ‘proven leader’ who ‘shares our values,’” Trumka said. “Throughout the campaign, she’s demonstrated a ‘strong commitment’ to the issues that ‘matter’ to Working People, and our Members ‘have taken notice.’  The ‘activism’ of Working People has ‘already been a major force’ in this election and is ‘now poised’ to elect Hillary Clinton and ‘move America forward.’”

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) President Lee Saunders, who serves as Chair of the AFL-CIO Political Committee said: “This election offers a ‘stark choice’ between an ‘unstoppable champion’ for Working Families and an ‘unstable charlatan’ who made his fortune ‘scamming’ them.  Working People know that Hillary Clinton ‘has the temperament and experience to unite all Americans’ in our fight to ‘increase’ incomes at home and ‘extinguish’ threats abroad.”

National AFL-CIO President Trumka noted: “Senator Bernie Sanders has brought an ‘important voice’ to this election, and has ‘elevated’ critical issues and ‘strengthened’ the ‘foundation’ of our movement.  His ‘impact’ on American politics ‘cannot be overstated.’”

“We’re ready to ‘fight hard’ to ‘restore faith’ in America and ‘improve’ the lives of ‘all’ Working People,” Trumka added. “Hillary Clinton has ‘proven herself’ as a ‘champion’ of the Labor Movement and we will be ‘the driving force’ to elect her President of the United States.”

To Directly Access This Labor News Story, Go to: www.laborpress.org/sectors/political-action/7808-afl-cio-endorses-hillary-clinton-for-president.  And Click Here to Learn About the National AFL-CIO's Endorsement Process.

 

NYSUT Endorses Buffalo Senator Marc Panepinto, Says Panepinto Is An “Outspoken Champion Of What Students And Educators Need” And “A ‘Lion’ In Fighting For What Working New Yorkers ‘Need’ To Climb The Economic Ladder.”

Published Wednesday, March 2, 2016

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) – The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union has issued an early endorsement of Buffalo Senator Marc Panepinto and backed Jaime Williams and Yuh-Line Niou for the State Assembly in the April 19th special election.

The 600,000-plus Member Union’s Board of Directors voted to make the early endorsement of Panepinto at a meeting this past weekend, saying the freshman senator is a strong supporter of Public Education and Organized Labor and is the “clear choice” of NYSUT members in his Senate district.

“Marc Panepinto has been an ‘outspoken champion’ of what students and educators ‘need’ in his Buffalo-area district and a ‘lion’ in fighting for what working New Yorkers ‘need to climb’ the economic ladder,” NYSUT President Karen Magee said. “Our members in New York City, too, have full confidence that Jaime Williams in the (59th) Assembly District and Yuh-Line Niou in the (65th) Assembly District will ‘continue to fight’ for public schools and Labor in the State Assembly.”

NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said Panepinto has built bridges to parents and Educators in the 60th Senate District after a hard-fought victory in 2014. 

“Senator Panepinto has been a ‘relentless foe’ of over-testing and a ‘vocal advocate’ for the policies and resources that educators ‘need’ – ‘and parents want’ - in order to ‘continue to move’ our public schools and colleges in the ‘right direction,’” he said. “We are excited to endorse Senator Panepinto again and ‘look forward’ to ‘fighting alongside him’ for students from pre=kindergarten through post-graduate school.”

Pallotta noted that Niou is experienced in Albany, working as Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Ronald Kim, and has the “knowledge and skills” to fill the Assembly seat formerly held by Sheldon Silver.  He said Niou and Williams, also an Assembly staff member, have impressed NYSUT Members with their knowledge of education issues and their support for public education.

Pallotta said volunteers will now begin working to elect Niou and Williams in the April 19th special election. 

Pallotta said the early endorsement of Panepinto and the Union’s backing of Williams and Niou will bring hundreds of volunteers to phone bank, hand out literature and work on campaigns, as well as financial support to help defray the cost of running for office.

NYSUT will hold its regular endorsement conference in August.

New York State United Teachers is a Statewide Union with more than 600,000 Members in Education, Human Services and Health Care.

NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and the AFL-CIO.

To Directly Access This Labor News Story, Go to: www.nysut.org/news/2016/february/nysut-endorses-panepinto-williams-and-niou

 

If You Think Donald Trump ‘Really Wants’ To “Make America Great Again,” Then Read The ‘Real Story’ On His Own Party’s Attacks On Trump For Hiring Undocumented Polish Workers

Published Sunday, February 28, 2016

(NEW YORK CITY) – During last week’s Republican Presidential Debate, Marco Rubio came out swinging at Donald Trump with a big accusation: Trump hired unauthorized immigrants from Poland.

"Fined ($1 million) for hiring Polish Workers on one of his projects," Rubio said, urging the audience to look it up on Google. "He did it. That happened."

Rubio is mostly right.

It does show up on Google.

And it did happen, but Trump didn't pay a $1 million fine - although he did pay an undisclosed sum.

Whether it will actually hurt Trump, a candidate who's consistently gotten away with inconsistencies in his record, is - of course - another question entirely.

For the development of the crown jewel of Trump's real estate empire - the Trump Tower - Trump hired around 200 undocumented Polish immigrants for the first part of the project.

The New York Times, which covered the allegations as they played out in the courts, explained: In 1980, Mr. Trump did hire around 200 undocumented Polish Workers to demolish the Bonwit Teller Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to make way for the Trump Tower.  The Workers later sued Mr. Trump, saying that they had been underpaid and mistreated.  They said they received $4 to $5 an hour - if that - to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.  Trump blamed any violations on the demolition contractor whom he said he later fired, but a judge ruled that Trump had indeed withheld about $4 million from the Workers.

Fifteen years after the court battle began, one of the Laborers involved described the terrible working conditions to The New York Times: "We worked in horrid, terrible conditions," Wojciech Kozak said, noting conditions in which Workers were choked by clouds of asbestos dust while wearing no protective equipment. "We were ‘frightened’ illegal immigrants and ‘did not know enough’ about ‘our rights.’"

What's more, Trump's contractor allegedly hired the undocumented Laborers to avoid fully paying American Laborers.

The Times reported Demolition Workers Local 95 of the Laborers' International Union of North America had a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Kaszycki Company of Herkimer, New York requiring it to pay specified Wages to Union and Non-Union Workers at the Trump Tower site and to make additional payments for each Worker into the Local's Pension and Medical Insurance Funds.

Attorneys Wendy Sloan and Lewis Steel, who served as legal counsel for current and retired Local 95 Members in the suit, assert that William Kaszycki - owner of the contracting company, hired about 200 Polish immigrants who were not Local 95 Members and agreed to pay them $4 to $5 an hour on 12-hour shifts seven days a week.

The Kaszycki Company, the plaintiffs said, violated the Union's $11-an-hour Minimum Wage Scale and made payments to the Local's Welfare Funds for only 12 to 15 Employees.

The contractor also failed to pay the 200 Poles their full Wages, causing work stoppages and delays.

The litigation was repeatedly delayed due to the deaths of several people involved in the lawsuit and procedural technicalities.

Trump eventually settled out of court, paying an undisclosed sum.

To Read the Rest of This Labor News Story, Go to: www.vox.com/2016/2/25/11118276/donald-trump-polish-workers

 

 

The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Announces Its List Of Endorsed Candidates For The 2015 November Election

Published Tuesday, October 27, 2015

(NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK) – The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council has announced its list of endorsed candidates for the 2015 November Election:

Niagara County Clerk: Jamie R. Moxham

Niagara County Legislator – 2nd District: Michael A. Johnson

Niagara County Legislator – 3rd District: Mark J. Grozio

Niagara County Legislator – 4th District: Owen T. Steed

Niagara County Legislator – 5th District: Jason A. Zona

Niagara County Legislator – 6th District: Dennis F. Virtuoso

Niagara County Legislator – 11th District: Russell J. DeFranco

Niagara County Legislator – 12th District: William O. Nye

Niagara County Legislator – 13th District: Robert K. Drury

City of Lockport Mayor: Roger L. Sherrie

City of Lockport Alderman-at-Large: R. Joseph O’Shaughnessy

City of Lockport Alderman Ward 1: Edward W. Tracy

City of Lockport Alderman Ward 2: Anita Mullane

City of Lockport Alderman Ward 3: Mark S. Devine

City of Lockport Alderman Ward 5: Richard E. Abbott

City of Niagara Falls Councilman: Ezra P. Scott Jr.

Town of Lewiston Sup of Highways: David J. Trane

Town of Niagara Councilman: Richard A. Sirianni

Town of Niagara Sup of Highways: Robert E. Herman Sr.

Town of Pendleton Town Justice: Kevin D. Mack

Town of Wheatfield Supervisor: Gerald McCormick

Town of Wheatfield Councilwoman: Shirley J. Joy

Town of Wheatfield Councilman: Gilbert G. Doucet

 

1.6 Million-Member AFSCME Endorses Hillary Clinton – President Saunders Says Membership Wanted A Candidate That “Works To Raise Incomes Of Workers & Make It Easier To Join Together In Strong Unions”

Published Tuesday, October 27, 2015

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has announced Hillary Clinton has earned the 1.6 million-member Union’s endorsement in the 2016 Presidential Race.  AFSCME’s New York State Affiliate - the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) - has also endorsed Clinton for President.

AFSCME’s 35-person International Executive Board voted overwhelmingly to follow the guidance of its Members based on feedback collected over the past six months, including polling data showing nearly two-thirds of AFSCME Members would vote for Clinton in the Democratic Primary.

“The next President will make decisions that could ‘make or break’ the ability of Working People across America to sustain their families.  That’s why we spent the last six months engaged in the ‘most member-focused, in-depth, and transparent endorsement process’ AFSCME has ever undertaken,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders said.

“What we heard throughout our endorsement process is that AFSCME Members want a candidate who is ‘committed’ to fixing our out-of-balance economy and raising incomes for hard-working people who are still struggling to make ends meet.  Members want a candidate who will make it ‘easier’ - instead of ‘harder’ - to join together in strong Unions and ‘stand together’ for Wages and Benefits that can sustain our families.  What we also heard was AFSCME Members want the candidate who will be the ‘most effective champion’ for Working Families, and who will be able to ‘deliver a victory’ in this critically important election.  AFSCME Members believe that candidate is Hillary Clinton,” Saunders said.

AFSCME Members also know grassroots organizing is the only answer to the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be poured into this election by the same CEOs and corporations that rig economic rules in their favor, Union Representatives said, and AFSCME Members felt strongly it was time to begin turning out friends and neighbors to cast a ballot for Clinton and get involved in the 2016 elections.

Hillary Clinton will tackle the issues that affect ordinary Americans’ quality of life, like paid family and sick leave, the crushing burden of student loan debt, and retirement security, AFSMCE Representatives said in a press release.

While there are several excellent candidates who share AFSCME’s values, Clinton is a proven champion for Working Families, and with the grassroots support of AFSCME Members, she is the candidate who can deliver on our hopes and hard work next November, Union Officials said.

Meanwhile, back in New York State, CSEA President Danny Donohue has announced his Statewide Union’s endorsement of Clinton for President of the United States: “There is ‘no question’ that Hillary Clinton is the ‘most qualified candidate’ in the race for President and has demonstrated her ability to lead over and over again.  Just as important, she’s ‘earned the respect’ of CSEA Members and other Working People, and the majority of our Members strongly support her candidacy.”

Clinton issued the following statement after receiving both AFSCME’s and CSEA’s endorsement:   

I am honored to have earned the support of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Civil Service Employees Association Local 1000, and to stand with them in the fight to help Working Families get ahead and stay ahead.  AFSCME and CSEA have spent decades working to strengthen America’s Middle Class and to give Workers a voice.  American Workers built the Middle Class by fighting for Higher Wages, Safer Working Conditions, Retirement Security, and the Right to Collectively Bargain.  Now, Working Families are under attack by Republicans who want to silence Workers, strip them of their hard-won rights, and keep stacking the deck for those at the top.  As President, I will stand up for Workers and fight attacks on Collective Bargaining.  I will fight to protect Retirement Security, including Defined Benefit Plans and Social Security - because when Unions are strong, families are strong, and when families are strong, America is strong.  I am proud to stand with Public Sector Workers at the Federal, State, County and Municipal Levels of government.  They make this Country work.  Together - with the men and women of AFSCME and CSEA, I know we can continue making progress and build a better future for Working Families across America.

To Directly Access This Labor News Stories, Go to: www.afscme.org/blog/afscme-endorses-hillary-clinton and https://cseany.org/watch-video-from-the-2015-adm/.

 

 

Backing Candidates Who ‘Stand Up For Working People’ - The Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation Announces Its 2015 Political Endorsements

Published Thursday, October 15, 2015

(WESTERN NEW YORK) - The Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF), the region’s umbrella Labor Organization that oversees five Central Labor Councils in Buffalo, Niagara-Orleans, Dunkirk, Jamestown and Cattaraugus County, that combined represented more than 100,000 Union Members – has announced its 2015 Political Endorsements.

In a statement, the WNYALF – whose mission is to improve the lives and increase the power of Working Families, bring fairness and dignity to the workplace and secure social equity, said: After the elections we look forward to working with our Elected Officials to advance the priorities of Working Families.  These priorities include: Improving Wages and Working Conditions: Accountability for companies that receive tax subsidies for job creation; Making our hospitals safer for Patients and Staff; Strengthening Public Education; and Ensuring that Public Infrastructure Projects use materials that are Made in America.

As such, the WNYALF has endorsed the following candidates in 2015 Elections:

  • New York State Supreme Court: James McLeod and Debra Givens
  • Erie County Executive: Mark Poloncarz
  • Erie County Legislature, District 3: Peter Savage
  • Erie County Legislature, District 7: Patrick Burke
  • Erie County Legislature, District 8: Debra Liegl
  • Erie County Court: Sheila DiTullio
  • Erie County Family Court: Kelly Brinkworth
  • Cattaraugus County Clerk: Brittany Melfi
  • Cattaraugus County Legislature, District 3: Karen Fenner
  • Buffalo Common Council, Masten District: Ulysees Wingo
  • Buffalo City Court Judge: JaHarr Pridgen
  • Lackawanna City Council, Ward 4: Chuck Kowalski
  • Tonawanda City Court Judge: Mark Doane
  • Amherst Town Council: Hadar Borden
  • Cheektowaga Town Council: Steven Specyal
  • Hamburg Town Council: Tom Best Jr.
  • Hamburg Town Clerk: Cathy Rybczynski
  • Lancaster Supervisor: Johanna Metz Coleman
  • Tonawanda Town Supervisor: Joe Emminger
  • West Seneca Supervisor: Sheila Meegan
  • West Seneca Town Council: Eugene Hart
  • West Seneca Town Justice: Shannon Filbert

 

 

WNY Labor Endorsement Updates From The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Labor Council, The Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council, SEIU Local 200 United & The Working Families Party

Published Thursday, October 30, 2014

(WESTERN NEW YORK) – With Election Day Fast Approaching On Tuesday, November 4th – the Following Western New York Labor Organizations, Unions and the Working Families Party Has Announced the Following Endorsements:

Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Endorsements: Town of Niagara Supervisor - Lee Wallace and State Supreme Court Justice - John DelMonte.

The Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council; Whose 18 Affiliated Trade Unions That Combine to Represent More Than 10,000 Unionized Construction Workers Across Western New York - Has Announced the Following New York State and Western New York Political Endorsements: Governor – Andrew Cuomo; Lt. Governor - Kathleen Hochul; State Assembly – Crystal Peoples-Stokes (141st), Mickey Kearns (142nd) and Sean Ryan (149th); State Senate – Patrick Gallivan (59th) and Mark Grisanti (60th District), Robert Ortt (62nd District) and Tim Kennedy (63rd District); and State Supreme Court – John DelMonte.

SEIU Local 200 United Announces Endorsements for November’s Elections: Governor – Andrew Cuomo; Lt. Governor – Kathy Hochul; Attorney General – Eric Schneiderman; Comptroller – Thomas DiNapoli; Brian Higgins, U.S. House of Representatives (District 26); Marc Panepinto, New York State Senate (District 60); Johnny Destino, New York State Senate (District 62); Timothy Kennedy, New York State Senate (District 63); Crystal Peoples-Stokes, New York State Assembly (District 141); Sean Ryan, New York State Assembly (District 149); Andrew Goodell, New York State Assembly (District 150); William Clark, Erie County Clerk; Lee Wallace, Town of Niagara Supervisor; and Alisa Lukasiewicz, New York State Supreme Court Judge.     

Working Families Announces Nominations For Supreme Court Justice: John DelMonte; Susan Eagan; Dan Furlong; Debra Givens; and Judge Jeanette Ogden.

 

 

Tired Of Getting ‘Lip Service’ From Elected Officials In Albany, NYSUT Teacher Elaine Altman Takes Aim On Winning The State Senate’s 61st District Seat

Published Thursday, October 9, 2014

(AMHERST) – Elaine Altman Became Increasingly Frustrated During Her Many Trips to Albany to Lobby Western New York’s Elected State Officials Over the Years as a Representative of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union, Including Meeting With Her Representative - Republican State Senator Michael Razenhoffer - Who “Rubbed Her Raw” With the “Lip Service” He Provided and Making Thoughtless Comments That He Understood, Because His Mother Was a Teacher.

In Fact, the 64-Year-Old Mother of Three Grown and Adult Sons Actually May Have Razenhoffer Himself to Thank for Getting Involved in the Political Process to Bring About Change When She Decided Earlier This Year to Run on the Democratic Line for State Senate.

“I Talked to My Opponent Often (During Lobbying Trips to Albany) and All We Got Was ‘Lip Service,’ Which ‘Rubbed Me Raw,’” Altman (Pictured Above/WNYLaborToday.com Photos) Told WNYLaborToday.com During an Interview at Amherst Democratic Headquarters Earlier This Week.  He’s (Razenhoffer, Who Heads the State Senate’s Education Committee) Been a Legislator During All the Massive Cuts (the State Has) Made to Education and the ‘Best’ He Could say Was That He ‘Understood’ and That His ‘My Mother Was a Teacher.’”

Altman’s Been a Teacher for 24 Years, is Director of the Staff Development in the Kenmore-Tonawanda Union Free School District and Serves as a First Vice President of the Kenmore Teachers Association.  She’s Lived in Clarence for the Past Seven Years.  During That Time, Altman Told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper That Razenhoffer Has Been Virtually “Non-Existent” in the Area That He Serves and That Many Residents Whom She’s Spoken to say the Two-Term Incumbent is “Not an Initiator,” But a “Follower.” 

Razenhoffer – Who Strangely is Currently Featured in a High-Profile TV Ad Touting the Benefits of His Law Firm’s Services Rather Than in Any Political Ad That Anyone Would Believe Should be Running at This Time With the November Election Just Weeks Away – May be Most Remembered for His Passionate and Long 45-Minute Speech on the Senate Floor for Yogurt to be Designated as the New York State’s Official Snack (Razenhoffer Was Lampooned by National Late Night Talk Show Hosts – Including David Letterman and Jon Stewart, Go to: http://observer.com/2014/05/daily-show-mercilessly-lampoons-state-senates-yogurt-debate/).

“Our Elective Officials are ‘Reflective’ of What’s Going On Right Now in Albany,” Altman said.  “Yeah, You Can Tell Me You’re ‘Going to Lower My Taxes,’ But There Needs to be a Higher Level of Accountability.  Their Comments Irritated Me, Especially When I’m Told ‘My Mother Was a Teacher.’  Even Though (Razenhoffer) Headed the Education Committee, There Was Clearly a ‘Huge Lack’ of Understanding (On the Issues Impacting Education).  He’s Been a Legislator During All These Massive Cuts to Education and the Best he Could say Was, ‘My Mother Was a Teacher.’  Teachers are Always Digging in to Their Own Pockets (to Pay for Supplies and Necessities for Their Students) and it Was it Wasn’t a Priority to (Razenhoffer).  So in May, I Thought, Why Not? (Run for State Office).  I Thought, Why Leave it to Some Else?”

The Platform Altman’s Running On Includes Fair Taxation for All; Eliminating Corporate Tax Breaks That Do Not Result in the Creation of Jobs and Economic Grow; Passage of the Women's Equality Agenda; Ending Privatization of Public Education; Eliminating Excessive Testing of Students; and Creating and Maintaining a Living Wage for Workers.

Altman’s Been Endorsed by a Number of Area and State Labor Organizations, Including Her Own Union, as Well as the New York State AFL-CIO, the Local Bricklayers Union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Western New York Council, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), the United Auto Workers (UAW), the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW), Teamsters Local 449 and the Working Families Party.  She’s Also Been Endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice New York and Empire State Pride Agenda.

Surprisingly, the 61st District is Nearly Split Between Registered Republicans and Democrats, With GOPers Enjoying a 7,500 to 7,000 Margin – With the Rest Being Made Up of Conservatives and Independents.  However, the Latest Poll, According to Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) President Richard Lipsitz, Showed Altman Just Six Points Behind Razenhoffer.  “(Altman’s) Got the ‘Right Stuff’ and She’s a Pro-Worker Candidate.  She’s Good On the Issues and She Would be an ‘Improvement’ Over Razenhoffer,” Lipsitz Told WNYLaborToday.com.  “She Could Pull This Off.  Yes, She’s Got a Shot.  We’ll Work Hard for Her and We’ll See What Happens.”

While Altman is Yet Another Example of Local Union Leaders and Members Making a Decision to Run for Public Office, NYSUT Regional Director Mike Deely Jokingly Told WNYLaborToday.com That the Union “Tried to Talk Her Out of it.”

Kidding Aside, Deely said Altman is “One of Our Own.”

“She’s What We’re ‘All About,’” he said.  “It’s Not Easy to Run (for Public Office) and This is a State Senate Race.  She’s Gone Against Someone Who Can Raise ‘Big Money.’  She’s Depending On Those Who are Donating ($25 to $30 Each).  She Got in Because She Didn’t Want to Take (the Lip Service) Anymore.  She Has a Shot.  It Boils Down to Getting Our People Out (to Vote).  But, Who Better Than Us (Union Leaders and Members Running for Office) to Make the Decisions?  After All, We’re the Ones Paying Taxes.”

As Part of the Labor For Altman Push - NYSUT, Along With Organized Labor, is Focusing On as Many as Nine Labor Walks for Altman, as Well as Enlisting the Help of More Than 30 Individuals Who Will Man Phone Banks in the Coming Weeks.  NYSUT Also Donated Thousands of Yard Signs for the Altman Campaign.

Meanwhile, Altman says her Campaign Has Been “Uphill/Downhill,” But Relishes How “Awesome” it’s Been: “There are Some Pretty Hardcore Republicans Within the District That Tell Me: ‘No, I’m Republican… Don’t Talk to Me,’ But I’m Vested in This Community and I Choose to Have a ‘Voice’ (in What Happens).  Razenhoffer is a Two-Term State Senator Who’s Best Known for Standing Up On the Floor of the Senate for Forty-Five Minutes and ‘Defending’ Yogurt as a School Snack.  I Want to Ask Him, ‘Why Weren’t You There When it Came to School Funding?’  Onto Whose Backs Do You Think Those Cuts Went On?  And, Whose Side are You On?  He’s All Over the Place.  How Many Times Can You Listen to Someone Who Tells You They’re Going to Lower Your Taxes?  I Want to Know What are ‘You’ Doing About All of This?  We Need a Heightened Level of Accountability.”

WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: For More On Elaine Altman and Her Campaign for the 61st State Senate Seat, Go to: AltmanForSenate.com; www.facebook.com/pages/Altman-for-Senate/767943923246347; and twitter.com/AltmanforSenate.

 

 

 

 

 

With The Primary Election On Tuesday, SEIU Local 200 United Announces Its Early Endorsements of Candidates, Including Cuomo, Hochul, Schneiderman & DiNapoli

Published Sunday, September 7, 2014

(SYRACUSE) - Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200 United’s Executive Board Has Announced the Endorsements of the Following Candidates Who are Running for New York Statewide Offices: Governor - Andrew Cuomo; Lt. Governor - Kathy Hochul; Attorney General - Eric Schneiderman; and Comptroller - Thomas DiNapoli

SEIU Local 200 United Represents Nearly 15,000 Public and Private Sector Workers Across Upstate New York, Including Western New York.  The Union’s Membership are Employed as Direct Care Workers and Nurses, Administrative Assistants and Secretaries, Teaching Assistants, Food Service Workers, Bus Drivers, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Professionals, Municipal Workers, Security Guards, Janitors, Buildings and Groundskeepers, Maintenance Workers, Ticket Takers and Ushers, Cemetery Workers and Parking Attendants.

SEIU Local 200 United Representatives Based at the Union’s Syracuse Headquartered Underscored the Union Takes its Endorsement Process “Very Seriously” and Believes its “Important” to Provide the Candidates With An Early Endorsement. 

“All Have a Record of Supporting Our Members and Families and (SEIU Local 200 United) Believes Their Leadership Will Help Move the Progressive Agenda to Benefit Working Men and Women in New York,” Union Leadership said

SEIU Local 200 United Plans to Conduct Five Meet The Candidates Nights Around the State Before Announcing its Full List of Endorsed Candidates in Late September.

Union Representatives say All Endorsement Will be Approved by SEIU Local 200 United’s Executive Board, Which is Comprised of All Dues Paying Members.

 

 

 

Citing Their Commitment To ‘Standing Up For Working People,’ The Western New York Area Labor Federation Announces Its Endorsed Candidates For the 2014 Elections

Published Sunday, September 7, 2014

(WESTERN NEW YORK) – Just Before Primary Tuesday, The Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) - Which Serves as the Labor Umbrella Organization That Oversees the Five Central Labor Councils Across Western New York and More Than 100,000 Union-Represented Workers - Has Released its List of Endorsed Candidates Who are Running for Public Office in the 2014 Federal, State and Local Elections:  

 

  • U.S. Congress 23rd: Martha Robertson
  • U.S. Congress 26th: Brian Higgins

 

  • NY Senate 57th: Cathy Young
  • NY Senate 61st: Elaine Altman
  • NY Senate 63rd: Tim Kennedy

 

  • NY Assembly 141st: Crystal Peoples‐Stokes
  • NY Assembly 145th: John Ceretto
  • NY Assembly 146th: Steve Meyer
  • NY Assembly 149th: Sean Ryan
  • NY Assembly 150th: Barrie Yochim

 

  • NY Comptroller: Thomas DiNapoli

 

  • NY Attorney General: Eric Schneiderman

 

  • Supreme Court (Five Seats): Kevin Carter; Donna Siwek; Jeanette Ogden; Dennis Glascott; and Debra Givens.

 

  • Cheektowaga Town Justice: Melissa Reese

 

  • Buffalo City Court: Barbara Johnson-Lee

 

The Above Candidates for State and Federal Office Were Endorsed by Area Union Delegates to the Statewide COPE Convention That Took Place in August and Following Recommendations Made by the WNYALF.  

The Endorsed Judicial Candidates Were Nominated by a Committee of Labor Lawyers, Based On Evaluation of Their Perceived Strong Belief in Working Class Values, Openness to Labor Law Issues and Overall Qualifications for Judicial Office.

After the Elections, WNYALF President Richard Lipsitz said His Labor Organization “Looks Forward to Working With Our WNY Delegation in Washington and Albany to Advance the Priorities of Working Families.”  “These Priorities Include Raising the Minimum Wage, Holding Corporations That Receive Taxpayer Subsidies Accountable, Making Our Hospitals Safer for Patients and Staff, Strengthening Public Education and Ensuring Public Infrastructure Projects in New York Use American-Made Steel,” Lipsitz added. 

The WNYALF Oversees Five Central Labor Councils in Buffalo, Niagara-Orleans, Dunkirk, Jamestown and Cattaraugus-Allegany, Which Combine to Represent More Than 100,000 Union-Represented Workers.  The Mission of the WNYALF, Which Works Collectively With Those Labor Councils to Advance and Strengthen the Labor Movement Across Western New York, is to Improve the Lives and Increase the Power of Working Families, Bring Fairness and Dignity to the Workplace and Secure Social Equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Via cityandstateny.com: An Interesting Political Take On Why Organized Labor Has Not Rushed To The Front To Endorse New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo For Re-Election

Published Tuesday, August 19, 2014

(NEW YORK) - Four Years Ago, the New York State AFL-CIO Lined Up Behind Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s Candidacy for Governor, Even Though the State Teachers Union, An Influential Player Within The Broader Labor Coalition, Did Not Support Him.

This Year ,the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Has Again Declined to Endorse Cuomo, But the Teachers’ Union Went a Step Further by Trying to Block the State AFL-CIO From Endorsing the Governor’s Re-Election Bid, Sources Tell City & State.  

The Potential Loss of An Endorsement by the Labor Umbrella Group Comes at a Time of Strained Relations Between the Governor and Key Public Sector Unions.

NYSUT Again Opted Not to Make a Pick in the Governor’s Race and Another Member of the AFL-CIO, the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), Went Even Further, Backing One of Cuomo’s Democratic Primary Rivals, Zephyr Teachout, and Her Running Mate, Tim Wu.  Another Influential Union With the AFL-CIO, The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), Has Long Made it Clear That it’s Unlikely to Endorse the Governor.

Of Course, Some Private Sector Unions Have Had Friendlier Relations With the Governor. Cuomo Secured the Backing of the Labor-Backed Working Families Party Earlier This Year, and He Has Enjoyed Support From the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) And Building Trades Unions, Some of Which are Part of the State AFL-CIO. (One Major Labor Group That’s a Cuomo Ally, 1199 SEIU, is Not Part of the Umbrella Group.)

The Question of Whether to Officially Line Up Behind Cuomo or to Stay Out of the Governor's Race Was a Topic of Discussion at the State AFL-CIO’s Nominating Convention This Week.

One Former Labor Official said Late Last Week That NYSUT, PEF and the American Federation of City, State & County Employees (AFSCME) Councils - Including the CSEA - Were Banding Together in an Effort to Block a Cuomo Endorsement.

The Final Decision Will Gauge How Far the Labor Movement’s Willing to Go to Chide the Governor.  

Public Sector Labor Leaders Have Expressed Unhappiness With a Number of Steps Taken by the Cuomo Administration, From The Creation of a New Pension Tier to the 2% Property Tax Cap.  

Two Labor Leaders Who Were Elected After the 2010 Cycle - PEF President Susan Kent and NYSUT’s Karen Magee - Have Joined CSEA’s Danny Donohue in Channeling the Anger of Their Rank-And-File Members.

While Some Worry Public Sector Unions Will Push Too Far and Hurt Other Labor Groups, Others Say Solidarity’s Critical.

“My ‘Loyalty’ is to the Labor Movement ‘First’ and ‘Not’ to Elected Officials,” One Labor Leader said.

You Can Directly Access This Labor News Story at: http://cityandstateny.com/2/83/labor/nys-afl-cio-endorsement-for-cuomo-in-flux.html#.U_IIVcWpU1K

 

 

 

 

 

The NYS AFL-CIO Endorses Comptroller DiNapoli & Attorney General Schneiderman During The Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education Convention

Published Tuesday, August 19, 2014

(NEW YORK) – Highlighted by the Endorsements of State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the 2.5 Million-Member New York State AFL-CIO Announced its Endorsements of a Number of Candidates Who Are Running for State and Federal Office During the Labor Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education (COPE) Convention That Was Held in New York City On Monday (August 18th).

Those Western New York Candidates Who Received Labor Endorsements During the COPE Convention Included: Incumbents State Senator Catherine Young of the Southern Tier and Tim Kennedy of Buffalo, as well as Democratic Challenger Elaine Altman; and Incumbent Assembly Candidates Sean Ryan and John Ceretto.  U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins of Buffalo and Louise Slaughter of Rochester, Both Incumbents, and Democratic Challenger Martha Robertson in the Southern Tier, Also Received COPE Endorsements.

“Our Members ‘Want’ a State That Prioritizes the Creation of ‘Good, Long-Term Jobs’ and ‘Strong Investment’ in the Public Services ‘All’ New Yorkers Rely On.  But, ‘That Only Happens’ if We Elect the ‘Right Candidates’ to Office,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said.  “Union Members From Throughout the State Will Work Together in a Coordinated Effort to Ensure Our Endorsed Candidates, and in Turn An Agenda That ‘Puts Workers and Their Families First,’ are Successful On Election Day.”

Members Will be Contacted On the Job and at Home Through Member Mailings, Worksite Flyers, Phone Bank Operations and a Labor-to-Neighbor Program - Where Union Members Visit Other Members in the Area to Discuss a Particular Race.

For More On This Labor News Endorsement Story and to View the Entire List of State Assembly and Senate Candidates, Go to: http://nysaflcio.org/new-york-state-afl-cio-announces-endorsements-in-state-senate-and-assembly-elections/.

 

The Following is a List of Several Other Endorsement Announcements Made at the COPE Convention and Direct Links to View the Entire List of Endorsed Candidates in Those Specific Races:

NYS AFL-CIO Announces Its Endorsement Of Comptroller DiNapoli

(NEW YORK)  - The New York State AFL-CIO Has Endorsed Tom DiNapoli for Re-Election as New York State Comptroller.

“Comptroller DiNapoli Understands Working Men and Women are the ‘Backbone’ of This State and That Our Economy ‘Rises and Falls’ as They Do,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said at the Labor Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education (COPE) Convention That Was Held in New York City.

As Sole Trustee of the State Pension System, Comptroller DiNapoli Has Effectively Led the Fund to Record Levels.  While These Results Ensure the Retirement Security of Public Employees, the Comptroller’s Investments in New York Businesses Also Help Create Private Sector Jobs in New York State.  In Addition, as the State’s Fiscal Watchdog, the Comptroller Has Helped Shine a Spotlight On Waste in Programs, Including Industrial Development Agencies, Where it’s All Too Common for Corporations to Take Public Money - But Fail to Produce Promised Jobs.

“From His Staunch Defense of the Defined Benefit Pension System to His Efforts to Safeguard Their Hard-Earned Tax Dollars, ‘No One Does More’ to Protect Working People Than

Comptroller DiNapoli,” Cilento said.  “We are ‘Proud’ to Endorse Tom DiNapoli and Will Coordinate ‘Get-Out-The-Vote’ Efforts Throughout the State to Ensure the Comptroller’s Re-Elected.”

Addressing Those Labor Leaders and Delegates Assembled at the COPE Convention, Comptroller DiNapoli said: “I’m ‘Honored’ to Receive the Endorsement of the New York State AFL-CIO and ‘Proud’ to Have the Support of the Hard-Working Union Men and Women of this State.  As Your Comptroller, I Will Continue to Champion the Issues That Matter to Our Middle Class, Including Strengthening Our Pension Fund and Protecting Taxpayer Dollars From Waste and Fraud.  Alongside President Cilento and New York’s (Union) Members, We Will Continue the Work to Make This State a Better Place for Our Families to Work and Live.”

For More On This Labor Endorsement Story, Go to: http://nysaflcio.org/dinapoli-2014/.

 

The NYS AFL-CIO Announces Its Endorsement Of Attorney General Schneiderman

(NEW YORK) - The New York State AFL-CIO Has Announced its Endorsement of Eric Schneiderman for Re-Election as New York State Attorney General. 

“From Securing Seven Figure Settlements for Underpaid Taxi Drivers to Prosecuting Unscrupulous Construction Contractors for Prevailing Rate Violations, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Has ‘Stepped Up Time and Time Again’ to Protect Hard-Working New Yorkers,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento Said At The Labor Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education (COPE) Convention That Was Held In New York City.  “What’s Most Gratifying is That ‘So Many Of These Cases’ Were the Result of Collaboration ‘With’ Labor.  Attorney General Schneiderman Knows Unions are An ‘Essential Partner’ in the ‘Fight for Fairness’ for ‘All’ Workers.”

Addressing Those Labor Leaders and Delegates Assembled at the COPE Convention, Attorney General Schneiderman said: “I’m Incredibly Honored to Have the Support of the New York State AFL-CIO.  They Speak With the ‘Combined Voices’ of Two and a Half Million Members and Family Members, and ‘When They Speak,’ the Rest of New York ‘Listens.’  It is ‘Thanks’ to the Help of the New York State AFL-CIO and the Entire Labor Community That My Office Has Been Able to Successfully Combat Wage Theft and ‘Win Justice’ for Working Families. With Them by My Side, I Look Forward to Spending the Next Four Years Fighting to Make Our State Even Stronger.”

For More On This Labor Endorsement Story, Go to: http://nysaflcio.org/schneiderman-2014/

 

NYS AFL-CIO Announces Its Endorsements For U.S. Congress

(NEW YORK) – The New York State AFL-CIO Has Announced its Endorsements of U.S. Congressional Candidates Running for the House of Representatives. 

“Critical Issues Like Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the Minimum Wage and Infrastructure Spending Have ‘Languished’ at the Federal Level, and New York ‘Needs’ a Strong Delegation That Will Give Congress the ‘Kick Start’ it So Desperately Needs,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said at the Labor Federation’s 2014 Committee On Political Education (COPE) Convention That Was Held in New York City.  “With Our Help On Election Day, Our Endorsed Candidates Will be That ‘Strong Voice’ in Washington D.C. for New York’s Hard-Working Families.”

For More On This Labor Endorsement Story and An Entire List of Congressional Endorsements, Go to: http://nysaflcio.org/new-york-state-afl-cio-announces-endorsements-for-congress/.

 

 

 

 

 

WNY Labor Issues Major Support & Commitment For State Senator Tim Kennedy

Published Sunday, August 17, 2014

(BUFFALO) – From the New York State AFL-CIO to Dozens of Individual Buffalo Area Labor Unions, Which Collectively Represent Tens of Thousands of Workers, Organized Labor Very Publicly Issued its Support to Re-Elect State Senator Tim Kennedy (Democrat-Buffalo) During a Major Event That Was Held at the Downtown Buffalo Headquarters of 1199 Service Employees International (SEIU) Healthcare Workers East Late Last Week.

From the Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council to the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Labor Leader After Labor Leader Stepped Forward to Offer a Ringing Endorsement of Senator Kennedy, Who’s Widely Described as a True Friend of Labor Here in Western New York.

“The Western New York Area Labor Federation is Very Pleased to Endorse the Re-Election Campaign of Senator Tim Kennedy,” Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) President Richard Lipsitz said. “He Has Been a ‘True Friend’ to Our Organization and He ‘Never Forgets’ the Day-to-Day Struggles of Ordinary Working People.  Tim Kennedy’s Proven Himself to be a ‘Champion’ of the Labor Movement and We Will ‘Work Tirelessly’ to See He’s Re-Elected.”

The WNYALF is the Umbrella Labor Organization That Oversees Five Individual Central Labor Councils Across Western New York: Buffalo; Niagara-Orleans; Dunkirk; Jamestown; and Cattaraugus-Allegany.  Collectively, the WNYALF Represents More Than 100,000 Unions Workers Across the Region and Counts as its Affiliated Unions Those Labor Organizations Who’ve Also Endorsed Senator Kennedy for Re-Election.

Meanwhile, the New York State AFL-CIO, Which Represents More Than 2.5 Million Workers Across the State, Also Endorsed Kennedy, Citing His Relentless Fight for Western New York’s Working Families.  Said New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento in a Distributed Statement: “Senator Tim Kennedy Has Been a ‘Fearless Advocate’ On Behalf of Hard-Working Western New Yorkers and Labor is ‘Proud’ to Stand With Him in His Campaign.  We Share Tim’s Commitment to Strong Public Services and to Creating Good, Long-Term Jobs, and We Look Forward to Continuing to Work With Him After His Re-Election to Ensure We Achieve Those Goals.”

Kennedy’s Been a Strong, Unwavering Voice Who’s Fought for Western New York and He’s Over the Course of Time Made the Issues That Matter Most to Working Families His Top Priorities as a State Senator, Focusing On Vital Initiatives Such as Creating Family-Sustaining Jobs, Improving Public Education, Strengthening Neighborhoods, Boosting Infrastructure Investment, Ensuring Western New York Gets its Fair Share of State Resources and Protecting the State’s Most Vulnerable.

In Accepting Labor’s Endorsements, Kennedy said: “I’ve Long Fought to Ensure the ‘Voices’ of Western New York’s Working Men And Women are ‘Heard’ in the State Capitol and I’m Proud and Honored to Have Earned Their Support.  The Fights I Take On are ‘Their’ Fights.  It’s ‘Their Concerns’ That I Work Hard to Address Each Day.  Western New York’s Working Families Know They Can ‘Count On Me’ to Fight for Them, and With This Outpouring of Support, I Know I Can Count On Them Too, as We Head Into (the Primary Election) On September Ninth.  Western New York’s Hard-Working Families Have My Word: ‘As Long as I’m Their State Senator, I’ll Keep Fighting for Them Every Single Day.’”

However, in What Was More Than Just Announcing Their Support, the Unions Who Have Endorsed Kennedy, and Their Members. are Also Working for Kennedy.  Several Labor Organizations Have Already Sent Volunteers to Kennedy’s Campaign to Make Phone Calls and Knock On Doors, and the WNYALF’s Planning a Massive Labor Walk That Will be Held On Thursday, August 28th When Workers Will Canvass Western New York’s Neighborhoods in Order to Encourage Voters to Support Kennedy in the Primary Election.

Those Unions That Have Endorsed Kennedy Include: 1199 SEIU; NYSUT; the Buffalo Building Trades Council; Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Locals 1342 and 1625; Boilermakers Local 7; BCTGM/Grain Millers Local 36G; Bricklayers &Allied Craftworkers Local 3; AFSCME District Council 35 and AFSCME Local 264; Carpenters Local 289; Cement Masons Local 11; CSEA; CWA District One and CWA Locals 1122, 1133, 1168 and 14148; International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 121; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 41; the International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators; Longshoreman Local 1949; Elevator Constructors Local 14; International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 17; Ironworkers Locals 6 and 9; IUPAT/Painters District Council 4; Laborers Local 210; National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 3; Office & Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153; the American Postal Workers Union (APWU); Teamsters Locals 264 and 449; U.A./Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 22; and United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 774.

Here’s What Some of Those Labor Leaders in Attendance at Friday’s Event Had to say:

CWA Local 1122 President Jim Wagner: “Senator Kennedy - Time and Again - Has Proven to be a ‘Voice’ and ‘Staunch Advocate’ for the Ordinary Working Men and Women of Our Western New York Community.  Local 1122 Members are Proud to Work and Eager to Stand With Senator Kennedy in Our Fight for Fairness and Equity for Ordinary Working Men and Women Here in Western New York.”

UAW Region 9 CAP Director Paul Schuh: “Over the Past Four Years, Senator Tim Kennedy’s Continually Demonstrated His Support for Labor and Working Families in Not Only Western New York, but for ‘All’ of New York State.  He’s Earned Our Support and the UAW Will Not Abandon Him Now.  We Wholeheartedly Support Tim Kennedy and Look Forward to Working With Him in the Next Legislative Session.”

NALC Branch 3 President Larry Kania: “Whether Walking Picket Lines, Promoting Initiatives for the Elderly or Introducing Legislation, Senator Kennedy’s Proven He Supports the Working Class.”

Teamsters Local 264 Brian Dickman: “Senator Kennedy Has An ‘Outstanding Record’ Fighting for Labor and Working Families.  Teamsters Local 264 is Proud to Support Him for Re-Election. He’s Been There for Us and We’ll be There for Him Throughout This Campaign.”

CWA 1168 President and Registered Nurse Cori Gambini: “As the President of a Union Representing Health Care Workers, and a Nurse Myself, I Know Senator Kennedy Understands the Hard Work We Do and the Obstacles We Face.  He’s a ‘Voice’ for Us and Our Patients in Albany.”

UUP/University at Buffalo Chapter President Tom Tucker: “Senator Kennedy’s Been a ‘Tireless Advocate’ for Higher Education in the State University at New York System.  We in UUP Sincerely Appreciate All His Efforts in Supporting Us and We’ll Be There - One-Hundred-Percent - to Support Him in His Re-Election.”

West Seneca Teachers Association President Joe Cantafio: “Tim Kennedy is, and Has Been, a ‘Leader’ in Albany - Standing Up for Our Students.  Senator Kennedy Did His ‘Homework’ Early On and Stood Up Against the Over-Testing of Our Students.  He ‘Stood Up’ and Asked the Tough Questions ‘Before Anyone Else’ and Before it Became ‘Politically Popular.’  We Need to Keep Tim Kennedy Fighting for Our Kids, Our Future.”

Ann Converso of CWA 1168: “Senator Kennedy is a Health Care Worker and Understands the ‘Needs’ of Those at the Bedside.  He Was ‘Front and Center’ On the Safe Patient Handling Bill, Which Finally Passed.  He’s Also Out Front Fighting for Improved Quality of Care With the ‘Safe Staffing For Quality Care’ Bill.  Nurses, Patients and ‘All’ Who Rely On Our Health Care System ‘Need Someone’ Like Senator Kennedy Fighting for Us.”

 

 

 

 

The Civil Service Employees Association Announces Endorsement Of NYS Comptroller DiNapoli/CSEA President Donohue Says: “He’s Done The Job Well And Continues To Work For The People Of New York”

Published Tuesday, August 5, 2014

(ALBANY) – The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) – New York’s Leading Union – Has Once Again Formally Announced its Endorsement of New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

CSEA President Danny Donohue – Whose Statewide Public Employees Union Represents 300,000 Members - said the Decision Was Based On “Continued Confidence” in DiNapoli’s Demonstrated Honesty and Effectiveness as Comptroller Since 2007, Coupled With His Unblemished Record as a Public Leader.

“Tom DiNapoli’s Done the Job Well and Continues to Work ‘for’ the People of New York,” the CSEA President said. “The State Comptroller’s Office ‘Works With’ Complete Professionalism, Providing Fiscal Guidance and Oversight to Local Governments and State Agencies Alike. Under Tom’s Leadership, the OSC’s Demonstrated Resourcefulness, Cooperation and Integrity.”

“Every Day, I Work Alongside Members of CSEA and it is an Honor to Receive Their Endorsement,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “I Share Many of the Values for Which This Organization Stands: Integrity, Hard Work and Accountability.  Alongside President Danny Donohue and CSEA’s (300,000) Members, I Will Continue Our Work Protecting Taxpayer Dollars From Waste, Fraud and Abuse, While Ensuring Our Pension Fund Remains One of the Strongest in the Nation.”

CSEA Has Long Viewed the State Comptroller With Singular Importance to CSEA Members, Union Representatives said.  As the Sole Trustee of the State Pension System, the State Comptroller’s Judgment and Decisions Have Enormous Implications Over the Retirement Security of More Than 300,000 Retired and Active CSEA Members.  In Fact, CSEA Was Instrumental in Helping Establish the State Retirement System Back in 1920.

“In a Challenging Time, Tom and His Staff Have Produced Outstanding Results for the State Pension Fund, Providing Financial Security for Public Workers – Allowing Them to Continue to Live and Pay Taxes in New York – Along With Strong Benefit for Taxpayers,” Donohue Said. “He’s Done a Difficult Job Fairly and Responsibly for All Concerned.  We Should All Have Complete Confidence in Tom DiNapoli’s Leadership Going Forward.”

Another Important Factor in CSEA’s Decision to Back DiNapoli, Donohue said, is the Unwavering Support for Him From CSEA Members Who Work in the Comptroller’s Office.  “It Continues to Speak Volumes About Tom as an Individual and a Manager That the People Who ‘Know Him Best’ are Urging This Endorsement,” the CSEA President said.

 

 

 

 

 

Via www.capitalnewyork.com: 1199 SEIU Ends Long-Time Deal With Senate Republicans

Published Thursday, June 5, 2014

(ALBANY) - For the First Time in More Than a Decade, New York State Senate Republicans Are Not Getting Any Money From 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers East - the State's Powerful Health Care Workers' Union - at Election Time. 

“We Won’t be Giving ‘Any’ Money to the Republicans,” 1199 SEIU’s Political Director Kevin Finnegan Told capitalnewyork.com. “We Haven’t Since the Last Election Cycle.  We Normally Don’t Endorse or Make Contributions Until After the Session’s Over, but We’re Definitely ‘on Board’ With a Democratic-Coordinated Effort to Take Back the Senate.”

1199 SEIU is One of a Handful of Labor Groups, Including the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the Retail Wholesale & Department Store Workers (RWDSW) and the Hotel Trades Council That Have Agreed to Form a Coalition - Along With Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Members Of The Working Families Party (WFP) - to Help Democrats Take Control of the Senate, Which The Republicans Have Controlled for All But Two of the Last 50 Years.

Cuomo Committed to Helping Democrats as Part of the Multi-Varied Terms of His Recent Endorsement Deal With the WFP.  The Governor and the Union Coalition Will Pool Resources and Create a $10 Million Fund to Spend on Democratic Senate Races.

1199 SEIU’s Finnegan said the Union Would Not Rule Out Endorsing Some Republican Senators in Individual Races, but said Such an Endorsement Would be Unlikely in Districts With Competitive Two-Party Races.  “I Don’t Know of Any Races That are Competitive Where We Would be Supporting a Republican,” he said.

That Decision Represents a Sea Change in How 1199 SEIU Wields its Influence in the New York State Senate.  For More Than a Decade, the Union Has Been One of the Senate GOP’s Most Important Allies.

To Read the Rest of This Labor News Story, Go to: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2014/06/8546527/1199-seiu-ends-longtime-deal-senate-republicans

 

 

State Senator Kennedy of Buffalo Earns Working Families Party Endorsement – Described As “Tested And Proven Champion For Hard-Working Families in Western New York”

Published Friday, May 16, 2014

(BUFFALO) – The Working Families Party (WFP) Has Endorsed Incumbent Democrat Tim Kennedy (Pictured Above) - Who Serves the Residents of Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Lackawanna – for New York State Senator in the 63rd District, it was Announced This Week.  WFP Representatives Cited Kennedy’s Relentless Commitment to Improving the Quality of Life for All Local Families and His On-Going Work to Boost Economic Opportunities for All.

Kennedy’s Made the Issues That Matter Most to Working Families His Top Priorities as a State Senator, WFP Officials said. Since Taking Office in the Senate, He’s Focused on Vital Initiatives, Such as e Creating Family-Sustaining Jobs, Improving Public Education, Strengthening Neighborhoods, Boosting Infrastructure Investment, Ensuring Western New York Gets its Fair Share of State Resources and Protecting New York State’s Most Vulnerable.

“Senator Tim Kennedy is a ‘Tested and Proven Champion’ for Hard-Working Families in Western New York and Across the State,” Western New York WFP Chapter Co-Chair Paul Schuh, of the United Auto Workers (UAW), said. “Senator Kennedy Constantly Works Hard for Working Families and His Record Proves it – ‘Leading the Fight’ for a Higher Minimum Wage, Pushing to Create Good-Paying Jobs, Working to Strengthen Our Neighborhoods, Fighting for Local Schools, and ‘Standing Up’ for Vulnerable Populations.  Senator Kennedy’s Always Been There for ‘Us.’  And We’ll Be There for ‘Him’ in His Re-Election Campaign.”

Kennedy said: “All Working Families Deserve a Fair Shot at Living the ‘American Dream,’ and That’s Why I’ve Always Fought for Good-Paying Jobs, Stronger Schools, Access to Economic Opportunities, Revitalized Neighborhoods and Improved Quality Of Life.  I’m Thrilled to Have the Support of the Working Families Party, Which Espouses Those Values Most Important to Blue-Collar, Hard-Working Families Who Call Western New York Home.  Fairness, Opportunity and Equality for ‘All’ Will Remain Guiding Principles as I Continue Our Collective Fight to Strengthen and Grow the Middle Class.”

Senator Kennedy’s Been a Fierce Advocate for Working Families in Western New York.  He’s Joined Workers on Picket Lines to Fight for Fair Wages and Good Jobs.  He Also Led the Fight to Increase the Minimum Wage Last Year and Continues to Push for Passage of the New York State Fair Pay Act.  Kennedy’s Fought for Increased Investment in Public Transportation and to Rebuild the State and Region’s Crumbling Roads and Bridges.  He’s Stood Up to Banks Whose Negligence Has Brought Blight to Area Neighborhoods and He’s Pushed to Restore the Public’s Faith and Trust in Their Government With Comprehensive Reform to Prevent and Crack Down on Corruption.

On Another Front, Kennedy’s Worked to Improve Public Education by Pushing for Increased State Aid for Local Schools.  In 2011, He Voiced Opposition to a Proposed State Budget That Reduced School Funding, But Cut Taxes for Wall Street Millionaires and Billionaires.  In the End, Kennedy’s Stand Helped Turn the Tide to Ensure the Wealthiest Paid Their Fair Share to Support Schools.

Kennedy Has Also Pushed for Expanded Workforce Development Initiatives to Ensure Area Residents Have the Opportunity to Learn Necessary Skills to Secure Good-Paying Jobs Being Created in the Growth Sectors Fueling Our Region’s Resurgence.  

Protecting Children and Families Has Also Been a Top Priority for Kennedy With His Efforts to Improve Protection Services for Children, Strengthen Laws Against Child Abusers and Increase Resources for Programs That Aim to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect.

“Western New York’s Hard-Working Families Have My Word: ‘As Long as I’m Their State Senator, I’ll Keep Fighting for Them Every Day,” Kennedy said.

 

 

 

Western New York Labor Endorsement Round-Up For Erie County Sheriff Candidate Richard Dobson, Niagara County Legislature Candidates Mark Grozio & David Naus and Erie County Family Court Judge Candidate Paul Crapsi

Published Monday, September 9, 2013

The Following is a Western New York Labor Endorsement Round-Up For Erie County Sheriff Candidate Richard Dobson, Niagara County Legislature Candidates Mark Grozio & David Naus and Erie County Family Court Judge Candidate Paul Crapsi:

·    Erie County Sheriff’s Candidate Richard Dobson has Received the Endorsement of the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

·    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 237 President David Naus, who is Running for the Niagara County Legislature’s 11th District, has Received the Endorsement of United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 9.

·    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 237 Union Representative Mark Grozio, who is Running for the Niagara County Legislature’s Third District, has Received the Endorsement of the Western New York Communications Workers of America (CWA) Council.

·    Erie County Family Court Candidate Paul Crapsi, a Public Employees Federation (PEF) Member, has been Endorsed by the Following Labor Unions/Organizations: Ironworkers Local 6; The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association; American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 35; International Union of Painters & Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 4; The City of Tonawanda Police Benevolent Association; and Teamsters Local 449.

The Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Makes Its 2013 Political Endorsements

Published Thursday, September 5, 2013

(BUFFALO) – The Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council has Released its 2013 Political Endorsements.  They are as follows:

 

Mayor of Buffalo: Byron Brown (Democrat)

 

Erie County Comptroller: Kevin Gaughan (Democrat)

 

Erie County Legislature:

District 1: Timothy Hogues (Democrat)

District 2: Betty Jean Grant (Democrat)

District 3: Lynn Marinelli (Democrat)

District 4: Bill Conrad (No Party Affiliation)

District 5: Tom Loughran (Democrat)

District 5: Al Getter (No Party Affiliation)

District 8: Wynnie Fisher (Democrat)

District 9: Mike Schraft (Democrat)

District 10: Lauren Gray (Democrat)

 

Amherst Town Supervisor: Mark Manna (Democrat)

 

Amherst Town Board: Ramona Popovich (Democrat) & Patricia Dunne

 

Cheektowaga Town Board: Richard Maisano

 

Hamburg Town Board: Michael Quinn (Democrat) & Cheryl Potter-Juda (Democrat)

 

Hamburg Town Highway Superintendent: Ted Casey (Democrat)

 

Lackawanna City Council: Abdulsalam Noman (Democrat) – First Ward 1st

 

Orchard Park Town Board: Lynmarie Phillips (Democrat)

 

City of Tonawanda Council: Richard Slisz (Democrat)

 

West Seneca Town Council: William Hanley (Democrat)

The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Endorses Several Candidates Running For The Niagara County Legislature, Niagara Falls City Council & North Tonawanda City Council

Published Tuesday, August 13, 2013

(NIAGARA FALLS) – The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council has Announced Its Endorsements for those Candidates Running for the Niagara County Legislature, the Niagara Falls City Council and theNorth Tonawanda City Council.

The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council’s Political Action Committee (PAC) Chairman Nick Zawacki Announced the Following:

In Those Races for the Niagara County Legislature: Mark Grozio, Third District; Owen Steed, Fourth District; Jason Zona, Fifth District; Dennis Virtuoso, Sixth District; Michael NeMoyer, Seventh District; Chris Srock, 10th District; David Naus, 11th District; Anthony Molinaro, 12th District; and Joshua Walker, 15th District.

In Those Races for the Niagara Falls City Council: Samuel Fruscione and Russel Vesci, and for the North Tonawanda City Council: Darlene Bolsover.  

NYS Senator Tim Kennedy Of Buffalo Brings Aboard Former National Association Of Letter Carriers/Branch 3 President Robert McLennan As His New Staff Labor Liaison

Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note:  Pictured Above, Former and Recently-Retired National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)/Branch 3 President Robert McLennan (on the Left) shakes the hand of New York State Senator Tim Kennedy outside Kennedy’s District Office in South Buffalo.  McLennan was recently brought aboard as Staff Labor Liaison for Senator Kennedy here in Western New York and is believed to be the only Labor Liaison working for any of the Area’s Elected Leaders.  (WNYLaborToday.com Photo)

 

(SOUTH BUFFALO) – Robert McLennan’s career as a Member with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)/Branch 3 Union in Buffalo spanned 32 years as a U.S. Postal Service Employee, a Union Steward, Branch 3 Vice President and then Local NALC President, a position he served in for nearly 23 years.  In addition, he served 18 years as an Executive Board Member with the Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and as an Executive Board Member with the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Foundation since its inception in 2001.

Now McLennan, who recently retired, has decided to take on a New Challenge as Staff Labor Liaison for New York State Senator Tim Kennedy (Democrat) of South Buffalo. 

McLennan started in March and his hit the ground running, meeting with a variety of Local Public and Private Unions, as well as Building Trades – making them aware of his New Position with Senator Kennedy and building bridges between the Labor Community and a Respected Public Official who has a Long and Consistent Track Record of Supporting a Variety of Issues that Positively Impact both Organized Labor and Working People.

“I was very interested in this – right away,” McLennan told WNYLaborToday.com during a sit-down interview with Senator Kennedy in his District Office in South Buffalo.  “It marks my belief in Tim.  If I didn’t believe in Tim, I wouldn’t be here.”

“I am here to help our Friends and Allies in Organized Labor,” McLennan continued.  “There will never be any Lack of Communication (between Senator Kennedy and the Area’s Labor Movement).  That shouldn’t happen and I am learning how intricate (the Labor Movement here is) between City, State, County and Federal Workers, and the Building Trades.  Now Tim will be able to get the ‘Full Story’ (from Labor through McLennan’s efforts).”

Referring to the Staff Labor Position, Kennedy – himself a Union Member with SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 200 United - told Your Regional, On-Line Labor Newspaper that “this is ‘not’ a Job – it’s a ‘Lifestyle’ to do better things for Working People across the board.  We want to know the Issues and have all our bases covered.  We don’t want to miss anything.”

In regards to the decision to bring McLennan – whose Union represented Federal Employees – aboard, Kennedy added: “I went right to Bob and (McLennan) was the only one I talked to (about being his Staff Labor Liaison).  He’s lived ‘Labor’ and he’s been successful.  His expertise is outstanding and he’s ‘done everything.’  He was a perfect fit.”

McLennan also made it a point to say that while NALC/Branch 3 represented U.S. Postal/Letter Carriers who are Federal Employees, the only exception the Union had made under his Long-Time Leadership to Endorse individual Erie County Candidates – where Kennedy once served as a County Legislator – was to support Kennedy because of his Strong Track Record in Standing Up for Worker’s Rights.  “That’s why we backed him,” McLennan said.

It is WNYLaborToday.com’s belief that McLennan is the only Staff Labor Liaison that any Elected Representative in Western New York maintains at this time. 

In the past there have been at least two others: Bill Greeley of the Buffalo Ticket-Takers/Ushers Union who worked with U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins here in Buffalo, and the International Association of Machinists’ (IAM) Tom Wisniewski, who was once employed by former Congressman Jack Quinn of Buffalo and then with Quinn’s son, who also served in State Government representing the Hamburg Area.

In the time to come, McLennan will mirror Kennedy’s efforts on the State Level, reaching out, talking to and working with the Western New York Labor Movement as Kennedy continues to step forward to help stop the attacks on Working People, ranging from Big Business’s Efforts to Dismantle the Scaffold Law, as well as Collective Bargaining – just two of so many issues important to Working People, Labor Unions and the Labor Movement.

“We’re fighting to Protect Binding Arbitration.  We were successful in getting it removed from the last State Budget (which would have dramatically and negatively impacted Police and Fire Unions).  The Farm Workers Bill and Voting Reform are also important too,” Kennedy said.

In addition, Kennedy and McLennan told WNYLaborToday.com that Kennedy and State Assemblyman Sean Ryan – another Supporter of Organized Labor and Workers’ Right – will team up to partner on a series of Periodic Labor Roundtables.  A variety of Area Labor Leaders and Representatives will be invited, including the first that is being set up and scheduled for June 6th at the Hearthstone Manor in the Buffalo Suburb of Depew.

The National AFL-CIO Maps Out Final Voter Push For President Obama & Democrats

Published Saturday, October 20, 2012

(WASHINGTON) - The Nation’s Largest Federation of Labor Unions plans to knock on more than five million doors, make five million phone calls and blanket Battleground States with 12 million pieces of mail in the final four days leading up to the November 6th Election.

Billing the undertaking as its Final Four Get-Out-The-Vote Plan, the National AFL-CIO will be pouring its resources into 25 States that hold Key Congressional Races, with a concentration in Presidential Swing States like Ohio and Nevada.

“It’s a culmination in that we have steadfastly tried to make the case to Working People that this Election is about ‘their’ economic future, that there are two very different paths that the two Parties want to take them down,” National AFL-CIO’s Political Director Michael Podhorzer said. “If we continue to bring these points home to people, we’ll see unprecedented turnout.”

In the run up to the Election, the AFL-CIO has registered more than 450,000 New Voters and gotten 200,000 Voters to Cast their Ballots early.  

Podhorzer said those numbers are the largest he’s seen since coming to the National Labor Organization in 1997, and he attributed much of that enthusiasm to the attacks on Public Bargaining Rights in places like Wisconsin and Ohio over the previous two years.

“Part of the reason we’ve been more successful is because of the State Attacks,” he said. “I think that Republicans who went after us in State after State in most cases found they kicked a hornet’s nest.  A lot of Union Members, who may not have seen the value in being involved, became much more ready to do so.”

But it isn’t just Union Members that the AFL-CIO has targeted in its Get-Out-The-Vote Efforts.

Thanks to changes in Election Law in the wake of Citizens United, Unions can now knock on the doors of Non-Union Members, giving them new influence and helping them expand their ground games.  AFL-CIO Campaigns Manager Sasha Bruce said the Labor Organization’s Super PAC, Workers Voice, and its Non-Union Affiliate, Working America, have made the Group’s Overall Field Operation “bigger than ever.”  Being able to approach Non-Union Voters who are “blended in” with Union Workers, particularly in States like Wisconsin, has allowed volunteers to knock on twice as many doors as in years past, Bruce said.  “We’re talking to people who think just like our Members,” she added.

Unions have traditionally supplied much of the ground game for Democrats leading into Elections.  With the race tightening in Battleground States and Obama’s lead slipping in Polls, Podhorzer said the more than 120,000 Volunteers deployed by the AFL-CIO could play a critical role for the President in the Final Days of the Election: “While the race is taking quite a turn in the last week, week and a half, the Public Numbers on Union Support for the President have held pretty steady.  We want to bring that Vote home.”

IBEW Local 41 Union Member Chuck Gilbert Running Against Incumbent Robin Schimminger For 140th District New York State Assembly Seat

Published Thursday, October 18, 2012

(TONAWANDA) – Chuck Gilbert, a Union Member Represented by IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 41, is seeking election to the New York State Assembly and faces Incumbent Robin Schimminger in the 140th District Race.

Why is Gilbert, who is employed as a Foreman with MJM Electric in Buffalo, running?

“I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck,” Gilbert tells WNYLaborToday.com.  “I started out making Minimum Wage and worked my way up to being a Foreman of a local Electrical Company.  I’m the ‘only’ Candidate that’s held a Private-Sector Job and I’m the ‘only’ Candidate that’s ‘walked a mile in your (Working People’s) shoes.’"

Interestingly enough, Gilbert – who has the endorsement of the Working Families Party, as well as endorsements from the Communications Workers of American, his own Union/IBEW Local 41, and the Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council, whose 18 Member Unions combine to represent more than 10,000 Workers – is running on the Republican line.

So how exactly does a 42-year-old Union Member run as a Republican?

It seems several years ago, Gilbert ran against an Incumbent Democrat for City of Tonawanda Councilman, on the Republican Line, and won election to a two-year term.

“It’s not about the (Political) Party, it’s about the issues,” Gilbert told WNYLaborToday.com.  “I wear my Union Pin on my lapel when I’m out in public.  It’s who I am.  I stand up for Labor Rights.  I stand up for Project Labor Agreements.  I stand up for Working Families.  I don’t hide it.  And, in fact, of the last thousand people I’ve talked to during this campaign, only one has told me that ‘they were not into Unions.’”

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Born and raised in the City of Tonawanda, a Tonawanda High School Graduate and a married father of four (ages 21, 10, 10 and seven), Gilbert tells Your Regional, On-Line Labor Newspaper that his campaign “is going very well.”

“I’m receiving more support every day and have had a great ability to get my message out.  I want to help bring more Jobs to Western New York, more Union Jobs.  I want to help lower Taxes to help Small Business create Jobs.  I don’t want to get rid of Project Labor Agreements, which have proven to keep costs down, employ Local Workers and keep dollars local.  We need to make New York a ‘Business-Friendly State.’  More business in New York means more Jobs and less people leaving this great State.  And, I also want to focus on Education.  If want to continue to get my message out, by going door-to-door with the help of Organized Labor,” said Gilbert, who’s worked at MJM Electric for 12 years – the last five as a Foreman.

Gilbert is a Member of the City of Tonawanda Youth Board and has been extremely active in the Local Community, serving as a Coach in the Little League Baseball and Football Leagues in the City of Tonawanda.  He’s also coached Girls’ Softball.  As a Member of the Tonawanda Council, he worked on and helped implement a Drug Policy for City Employees, worked on an Ethics Board, on a Nepotism Policy and helped cut the City Budget, as well as bring in a State-of-the Art Skate Park in the City of Tonawanda, which is free to the Public, Gilbert tells WNYLaborToday.com.

Schimminger, meanwhile, has represented the 140th Assembly District for 36 years – a District that includes all of the Town of Tonawanda, the City of Tonawanda, the entire Village of Kenmore, a portion of North Buffalo and Black Rock, including all of Riverside, all in Erie County, and most of the City of North Tonawanda in Niagara County

Asked why he’d choose to run against such an entrenched Democratic Assemblyman, Gilbert – whose birthday is a day before Election Day – told WNYLaborToday.com: “This was a tremendous opportunity when it came up and I decided to jump into it.  Ever since, the support I’ve received has come in like a flood.”

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The 300-Thousand-Member Civil Service Employees Association Announces Statewide Union’s ‘Limited’ New York Legislative Endorsements

Published Sunday, August 26, 2012

(ALBANY) – The 300,000-Member Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) has endorsed only a limited number of Candidates in New York State Legislative Races This Fall.  Why?  Because CSEA President Danny Donohue says: “Many Lawmakers who have long enjoyed CSEA Support will not have it this year because they abandoned the Working People of this State.  CSEA is holding Lawmakers accountable for their actions.  The CSEA endorsement has to ‘be earned’ or else it has no meaning."

The Limited Endorsements come following extensive review within CSEA.  For two years, CSEA Officials say Lawmakers Rubber-Stamped State Budgets that undermined State Operations and Shortchanged Localities and Schools as they forfeited Oversight Responsibility on important Public Policy Issues.  In addition, they also imposed a Property Tax Cap that is causing Fiscal Chaos in Local Government and School District Budgets.

Additionally, Lawmakers made a dark deal with Governor Andrew Cuomo last spring - trading support for onerous and unnecessary Public-Employee Pension Tier Changes in exchange for favorable Legislative Redistricting.

CSEA's Limited Endorsements are only going to Candidates who stand with Working People.

CSEA Endorsement normally brings Financial Contribution, Statewide Get-Out-The-Vote Expertise - Mailings, Phone Calls, Printing, Grassroots Volunteers and other Benefits - along with Internal Union Resources and Activities to reach the extensive CSEA Membership in every part of the State.

"CSEA Members will aggressively campaign for our Endorsed Candidates," CSEA President Donohue said. "Just as important, beyond this Election we will work to mobilize Members to be ‘even more involved’ in the Legislative Process - regularly communicating with Elected Officials and challenging them when they don't do ‘what's right’ for Working People."

CSEA, meanwhile, also released its Endorsements for Federal Races, topped by support for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

"Senator Gillibrand has been an outstanding advocate for New York and a ‘voice of reason’ within the U.S. Senate," Donohue said. "Our Congressional Endorsements also reflect support for Candidates and Challengers who will ‘stand up’ for Reasonable and Responsible Government that works for ‘all’ Americans."

CSEA - New York's Leading Union - represents 300,000 Public Employees across the State, including Workers employed in its many Counties, Towns, Villages, School Districts, Library Systems, Authorities and Public-Benefit Corporations. Together with a growing population of Private-Sector Members and Retirees, CSEA is the largest affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which is one of the largest affiliates of the National AFL-CIO.

 

2012 CSEA Endorsements

United States Senate: Kirsten Gillibrand

 

New York Congressional

CD 1: Timothy Bishop
CD 3: Steve Israel
CD 4: Carolyn McCarthy
CD 5: Gregory Meeks
CD 6: Grace Meng
CD 7: Nydia Velazquez
CD 8: Hakeem Jefferies
CD 9: Yvette Clarke
CD 10: Jerrold Nadler
CD 12: Carolyn Maloney
CD 13: Charles Rangel
CD 14: Joe Crowley
CD 15: Jose Serrano
CD 16: Eliot Engel
CD 17: Nita Lowey
CD 18: Sean Patrick Maloney
CD 19: Julian Schreibman
CD 20: Paul Tonko
CD 21: Bill Owens
CD 23: Nate Shinagawa
CD 24: Dan Maffei
CD 25: Louise Slaughter
CD 26: Brian Higgins
CD 27: Kathy Hochul

 

New York State Senate

SD 4: Ricardo Montano
SD 11: Tony Avella
SD 12: Michael Gianaris
SD 13: Jose Peralta
SD 15: Joseph Addabbo, Jr.
SD 18: Martin Malave Dilan
SD 20:" Eric Adams
SD 21: Kevin Parker
SD 23: Diane Savino
SD 27: Brad Hoylman
SD 28: Liz Kruger
SD 33: Gustavo Rivera
SD 34: Jeffrey Klein
SD 40: Justin Wagner
SD 55: Ted O'Brien
SD 60: Michael Amodeo

 

New York State Assembly

AD 3: Dean Murray
AD 5: Alfred Graf
AD 6: Phil Ramos
AD 9: Joseph Saladino
AD 12: Andrew Raia
AD 14: David McDonough
AD 25: Jerry Iannece
AD 31: Michele Titus
AD 32: Vivian Cook
AD 34: Michael DenDekker
AD 35: Jeffrion Aubry
AD 38: Michael Miller
AD 39: Francisco Moya
AD 42: Rhoda Jacobs
AD 43: Karim Camara
AD 47: William Colton
AD 49: Peter Abbate, Jr.
AD 52: Joan Millman
AD 59: Alan Maisel
AD 60: Inez Barron
AD 66: Deborah Glick
AD 76: Micah Kellner
AD 77: Vanessa Gibson
AD 78: Jose Rivera
AD 79: Eric Stevenson
AD 80: Naomi Rivera
AD 81: Jeffrey Dinowitz
AD 85: Marcos Crespo
AD 86: Nelson Castro
AD 90: Shelley Mayer
AD 91: Steve Otis
AD 92: Thomas Abinanti
AD 93: David Buchwald
AD 94: Andrew Falk
AD 97: Ellen Jaffee
AD 98: Annie Rabbitt
AD 99: James Skoufis
AD 101: Claudia Tenney
AD 103: Kevin Cahill
AD 104: Frank Skartados
AD 106: Didi Barrett
AD 111: Angelo Santabarbara
AD 113: Carrie Woerner
AD 118: Marc Butler
AD 127: Al Stripe, Jr.
AD 128: Sam Roberts
AD 135: Mark Johns
AD 141: Crystal Peoples-Stokes
AD 149: Sean Ryan

The New York State United Teachers Union Announces Its Endorsements In Nearly 200 New York State’s Assembly & Senate Races

Published Sunday, August 26, 2012

(ALBANY) -  New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union has announced its endorsements in nearly 200 State Senate and Assembly Races, backing Incumbents and Challengers the 600,000-Member Labor Organization believes advocates for Working Families while fighting against policies that would harm Students, their Public Schools and Colleges, as well as Organized Labor.

NYSUT’s Board of Directors voted to issue the Endorsements after a three-day, intensive Endorsement Conference in which Political Activists reviewed two years of Voting Records for Incumbents, while also heavily weighing the working relationships that Union Leaders — on the Local, Regional and State Levels — have built with their Elected Representatives. 

NYSUT’s Board of Directors endorsed in 43 of the 63 State Senate Races - backing 34 Democrats and nine Republicans.  The Union chose not to endorse in 20 Races.  In the Assembly, NYSUT is backing 102 Democrats and 16 Republicans, while remaining neutral in 32 Races.  In some Races, the Board may review its decision not to endorse after the September Primary.  To View and Download NYSUT’s entire Endorsement List, go to: http://www.nysut.org/cps/rde/xchg/nysut/hs.xsl/mediareleases_18184.htm

“We’re living in extraordinarily complicated Political and Fiscal Times and that was certainly reflected in the passion and resolve expressed by Activists during our discussions,” NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi said.

No single vote served as a litmus test, NYSUT Representatives said.

Instead, Iannuzzi explained: “Activists sorted through the ‘bad votes’ on Tier Six, record Budget Cuts and the Undemocratic Property Tax Cap, but they also weighed the important ‘wins’ — balancing Votes that Legislators cast on the Millionaires’ Tax, killing a proposed $250 million Competitive Grant Program for School Districts, dramatically increasing funding for SUNY, CUNY and Community Colleges and protecting the Privacy of Teacher Evaluations.  These are Votes that helped Students, Teachers and New York Families, and can serve as ‘building blocks’ for a better future.”

NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta, meanwhile, said the Grassroots Endorsement Process — in which Local Union Presidents and Political Activists make recommendations to the NYSUT Board of Directors — served as a sounding board for Members’ “deep disenchantment” over painful Budget Cuts and Layoffs that are jeopardizing years of progress in New York’s Public Education System.  

Pallotta noted when Schools open in September, they will be operating with $1.1 billion less in State Support than in 2008-09, as well as some 35,000 fewer Teachers and Para-Professionals helping Students learn.

“Voting Records are just one way to measure a Candidate’s support for the issues our Members are concerned about,” Pallotta said. “We also looked hard at whether or not an Incumbent or Challenger is an outspoken advocate for Public Education and if a Senator or Assembly Member enjoyed excellent relationships with Local Leaders and are willing and able to use the ‘bully pulpit’ of their office to appeal to the Public on issues important to NYSUT Members.”

On another note, Pallotta noted that many of the more than 300 Political Activists attending the three-day Political Meeting expressed deep dissatisfaction with some Assembly and Senate Members — in both political parties.

“While NYSUT is looking forward to better times, and for places we can repair and rebuild relationships, too many Activists have ‘had enough’ and, not only refused to endorse some incumbents, but want to throw the full weight of the Union behind select challengers.  For them, Albany ‘is not working.’ They see Student Programs slashed, Class Sizes increasing, Schools being shuttered and their Colleagues thrust onto the Unemployment Line.”

Pallotta said Candidates earning a NYSUT endorsement would benefit not only from Financial Support, but from “feet on the street” — the efforts of thousands of Volunteers operating the State’s Largest Phone Bank Operations, Handing out Literature, attending Rallies and Strongly-Supporting Candidates who support the issues they care about: Quality Public Schools, Colleges and Health Care for all New Yorkers.

NYSUT, the State’s Largest Union, represents some 600,000 Classroom Teachers and other School Employees, Faculty and other Professionals at the State’s Community Colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other Education and Health Professionals.  NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA) and AFL-CIO.

The New York State AFL-CIO Announces Its Endorsements For U.S. Senate & Congress, As Well As For The New York State Assembly & Senate

Published Thursday, August 23, 2012

(NEW YORK) – The 2.5-million Member New York State AFL-CIO has announced the endorsement of United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as the Endorsements of Candidates running for the House of Representatives – announcements that were made this week during the State Federation’s 32nd Constitutional Convention in New York City.

“The Labor Movement has stood with Senator Gillibrand from the beginning and we’re proud to continue to support her as she runs for re-election,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said.  “She’s become a Leader on the issues important to our Members – Creating Good Jobs in New York State, Strengthening the Middle Class, and Ensuring Access to Quality Education and Health Care.  What happens in Washington, D.C. has a ‘real and tangible’ impact on the Lives and Economic Well-Being of Working Men and Women throughout the State.  Union Members cannot afford to sit idly on the sidelines.  The Labor Movement will engage our Members at the Local Level to make sure hard Working New Yorkers, ‘not’ Corporate Special Interests, decide who represents us in Washington.”

As part of an overall effort, the New York State AFL-CIO and its Member Unions intend to Contact, Inform and Educate Union Members while On-the-Job, at Home through Member Mailings, through the distribution of Worksite Fliers, Phone Bank Operations and a Labor-To-Neighbor Program, where individual Union Members visit other Union Members in their home areas in order to discuss a particular race.

Western New York Congressional Representatives Louise Slaughter, Brian Higgins and Kathy Hochul were among those Congresspeople endorsed by the State AFL-CIO.

For a full list of the State AFL-CIO’s Senate and Congressional Endorsements, visit: http://nysaflcio.org/congressionale_endorsements/

Meanwhile, the State AFL-CIO announced its Endorsements of Candidates running for New York State Senate and Assembly.  The full list of State Assembly and Senate Endorsements can be accessed at: http://nysaflcio.org/2012copeconvention/.

“The endorsement of the New York State AFL-CIO is not just a ‘piece of paper.’  We will coordinate Grassroots Campaigns and ‘Get Out The Vote’ efforts throughout the State to ensure our Members understand the critical issues in these Elections and just how important it is that they get to the Polls and support our Endorsed Candidates,” Cilento said.

Western New York Assembly Representatives Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Sean Ryan, and Senate Representatives George Maziarz and Tim Kennedy, received Endorsements on their re-election bids from the State AFL-CIO.

New York State AFL-CIO Endorses Re-Election Campaign Of Western New York Assemblyman Sean Ryan/President Mario Cilento Says Ryan Has “Proven To Working Men And Women He Will Stand Up For His Principles”

Published Wednesday, August 1, 2012

(ALBANY) - The New York State AFL-CIO has endorsed the re-election campaign of Democratic New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan of Western New York in the ) in the 149th Assembly District, the Statewide Labor Organization that represents 2.5 million Union Members and 14,000 Working Men and Women in Ryan’s Assembly District.

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said in a distributed statement: "In less than a year, Sean Ryan has already left his mark on the Assembly.  He’s proven to Working Men and Women across Western New York that he’s not going to be pushed around, and he will stand up for his principles.  Our Unions and their Members are proud to support Assemblyman Ryan because we need Leaders who aren't afraid to fight for Workers and their Families in Albany."

"It’s an honor to receive the support of the New York State AFL-CIO and all the Hard-Working, Middle-Class New Yorkers who are represented by this great Labor Organization,” Assemblyman Ryan said.  “I plan on continuing my fight to reform our IDA (Industrial Development Agency) System so that the IDAs can no longer waste our Tax Dollars, and I will advocate for policies that strengthen Middle-Class Families in New York.  Most importantly, I promise to continue to deliver results for the Working Men and Women of Buffalo, Lackawanna and Hamburg."

Teamsters Endorse Obama/Union Pledges To Put ‘Boots On The Ground’ For Re-Election Effort

Published Monday, July 30, 2012

The Teamsters Union has endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election with the enthusiastic support of 2,000 Members gathered at the Union’s Annual Unity Conference.

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa threw the question out to the assembled Teamsters: “Do we want to endorse Barack Obama for President?”

The response was a resounding “Yes!” and a standing ovation.

The General Executive Board had given Hoffa the authority to endorse Obama and several Vice Presidents spoke from the floor, urging him to make the endorsement as soon as possible.

“If we think the ‘War on Workers’ is tough right now, put (GOP Presidential Candidate) Mitt Romney in office and you’ll see how tough it is,” International Vice President John Coli said.

Enthusiasm for Obama was equaled if not exceeded by dislike of Romney, described as a Vulture Capitalist.

Loud booing was the answer to Hoffa’s question: “Does anybody want Mitt Romney?”

Shortly after the endorsement, Teamsters inside the Conference Hall got a surprise phone call from President Obama, who told them America would look a lot different without them.

General President Hoffa gave Obama the news that the Teamsters had just endorsed his re-election:  “They realize there’s a ‘War on Workers’ and they realize there’s only one person fighting that fight. That’s you.  Go get ‘em, we endorse you all the way.”

The President’s voice came over the loudspeaker: “Thank you for the endorsement.  In these years that I’ve been in office, I’ve seen and appreciated how you support the American Economy and Social Justice, a tradition that goes back more than one-hundred years.  America would look a lot different ‘without’ the Teamsters.”

Obama said the biggest question over the next few years is how to reclaim security for the Middle Class after a decade in which the Middle Class has taken it on the chin.

“That starts with putting people back to work,” Obama said.

The President recounted the challenges he faced when he took office: “We lost more jobs in the month I took office than we did in the previous sixty years.”  Since 2010, his
Administration helped create more than 400,000 Manufacturing Jobs - many of them in the auto industry.

The President told the Teamsters that America needs to restore some basic values that made this Country great, beginning with rewarding work instead of speculation.

“We have ‘boots on the ground,’ justice in our hearts and we’re going to win in November. We’ve got your back,” Hoffa told Obama.

Replied Obama: “I’ve got yours.  I could not be prouder to have your endorsement.”

Western New York State Senator Tim Kennedy Receives Working Families Party Endorsement

Published Thursday, June 21, 2012

(BUFFALO) – The Working Families Party (WFP) has endorsed New York State Senator Tim Kennedy in his Re-Election Bid, citing his pursuit of Better-Paying Jobs for Western New Yorkers and relentless advocacy on behalf of Middle-Class Families.

“I’m honored to receive the Working Families Party Endorsement,” Kennedy said.  “When I was elected into office only seventeen months ago, Albany was home to the most dysfunctional Legislature in the Nation.  I vowed to change the way our State Government operates and I look forward to continuing to move our State in a new direction.”

Throughout his first term in the Senate, Tim Kennedy has taken an aggressive approach to governing.  When funding to local Schools was in jeopardy of being slashed, yet Wall Street Millionaires were slated to receive a Tax Bailout, Kennedy led the charge to ensure that our
children were protected and that Wall Street paid its fair share.  Kennedy stood strongly opposed to the proposal and helped mount a Statewide Effort to overturn it.

“Tim Kennedy has consistently stood up for the hard-working families of Western New York,” said WFP Co-Chair and United Auto Workers Representative Paul Schuh.  “He’s brought a blue-collar mentality to the State Capitol and he’s worked tirelessly on issues that are important to this area - like Job Creation and Economic Development.”

Since being elected in 2010 after defeating 30-year incumbent Bill Stachowksi and Republican Jack Quinn, III, Kennedy’s worked to Create Jobs, Protect Children and Families and stand up for Western New York.  He now seeks re-election in the 63rd district, which includes the City of Buffalo, the town of Cheektowaga and the City of Lackawanna.

For more information, please visit: www.timkennedyforsenate.com.

The New York State AFL-CIO Endorses Western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul’s Re-Election Bid/President Mario Cilento Says Hochul “Understands The Strength Of Our State And Our Country Depends On A Vibrant Middle Class”

Published Thursday, June 14, 2012

The New York AFL-CIO Labor Organization, which represents 2.5 million Union Members across New York State, has endorsed U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Hochul of Western New York in her re-election campaign.

“I am pleased to announce the New York State AFL-CIO’s endorsement of Kathy Hochul,” said New York State President Mario Cilento, whose Labor Organization represents 80,000 Working Men and Women in the 27th Congressional District that Hochul presently serves. 

“Congresswoman Hochul shares the values of Working men and Women throughout Western New York.  She understands that the strength of our State and our Country depends on a vibrant Middle Class.  In just a short time in office, Congresswoman Hochul has shown that she’s willing to take on tough fights on behalf of the Working Families she proudly represents.  This is an important race for the future of Western New York and the Workers who call it ‘home.’  By endorsing early, the New York State AFL-CIO will get a jump start in coordinating a comprehensive grassroots campaign to get our Members to the polls and send Kathy Hochul back to Congress,” Cilento said.

Congresswoman Hochul said: “I’m humbled to have the endorsement of an organization that represents so many Hard-Working Men and Women around our great State.  This election is going to be about protecting our Middle Class and our Seniors, and I know that we are going to win that battle.  It’s a privilege to fight everyday for the people of my District and I look forward to continuing that work.”

The 1.6 Million-Member American Federation Of State, County & Municipal Employees Endorses President Obama For Re-Election/Says AFSCME President McEntee: “Obama Is The ‘Only Choice’ For The Ninety-Nine-Percent”

Published Tuesday, December 6, 2011

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union announced today (Tuesday, December 6th) its endorsement of President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012.

“President Obama is the ‘only choice’ for the ninety-nine-percent.  We must put people back to work, make the one-percent pay their fair share and protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.  President Obama will stand up for Working Families,” said AFSCME President Gerald McEntee after the Union’s International Executive Board passed a resolution of endorsement.  “Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have a prescription for the U.S. economy that was written by the same corporate interests that got us into this mess in the first place.  We’ve all seen the depths the right-wing extremist governors will go to at the expense of Working Families, and we certainly don’t need that type of leadership in the White House.  The GOP candidates just don’t ‘get it,’ they are out of touch with reality.  We believe that American voters are smarter than that and will say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to their one-percent agenda and work to re-elect President Obama to a second term.”

AFSCME’s Executive Board will now begin an extensive conversation with Union Members and non-members nationwide.  In 2008, AFSCME launched a one-of-a-kind nationwide effort to elect President Obama.  AFSCME recruited more than 40,000 activists, made more than six million calls to its Union Members and deployed hundreds of staff to 17 key battleground States to ensure a victory.

“It’s unbelievable the GOP leadership and presidential candidates are so eager to protect the Bush Tax Breaks for millionaires that they are willing to cut off benefits for the long-term unemployed and repeal a payroll tax cut,” added Michael Ebersole, a Highway Maintenance Technician for the Florida Department of Transportation and Local 3106 AFSCME Member.  “President Obama’s call to invest in innovation and infrastructure that will put people back to work today and build a strong foundation for the future is what this country needs.  I intend to work day and night to ensure this president gets a second term.”

AFSCME's 1.6 million Members provide the vital services that make America happen.  With AFSCME Members in hundreds of different occupations - from Nurses to Corrections Officers, Child Care Providers to Sanitation Workers - AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all Working Families.

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