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Public Employee Press

Albany activism

Allies stand together

Local 372 members paid State Sen. Leroy Comrie a visit at Albany meeting.

District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido led a group of union activists to Albany for the annual legislative conference.

The weekend conference began on Feb. 16 and brought together activists and elected officials for discussions and workshops. The 47th annual Legislative Conference was sponsored by the New York State Association of Black, Puerto Rican and Asian Legislators.

Garrido participated in a panel discussion about the challenges presented by the recent federal tax cut and the upcoming Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This tax plan represents the greatest upward transfer of wealth since President Reagan’s tax cuts in the 1980s,” Garrido said about the Trump administration’s budget. “Make no mistake, this tax plan is also an attack on public employees and the services they provide.”

A decision on the Janus case is expected in the coming months.

“The labor movement and our union will do what it’s always done—fight as hard as we can to protect the rights of working people,” said Garrido about the upcoming court decision.

If the court rules against AFSCME, public employee unions will be subjected to a national “right-to-work” law that would eventually lower wages. It would also make it more difficult for unions to organize, and it would take away the right to collective bargaining.

Garrido shared the panel with Assembly member Kimberly Jean-Pierre, and state Sens. Kevin Parker and Jesse Hamilton.

Several union leaders were honored for their contributions to the labor movement during the traditional labor luncheon on Saturday afternoon.

Linda McPherson of AFSCME Council 1707 was among the honorees.

DC 37 honorees included Anthony Wells, president of SSEU Local 371, who received the Vanguard Leadership Award. Board of Education Employees Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I was honored by Sen. Leroy Comrie.