ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

April 1, 1999

1999.04.00: New York Activists Launch ‘Contract 2000’ (Labor Notes)

Filed under: Collective Bargaining,Funding,Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 12:00 am

1999.04.00- New York Activists Launch ‘Contract 2000-‘ (Labor Notes) — OCR

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Labor Notes
April 1999


‘City Workers for Real Change’

by Cal Winslow ‘ These new revelations followed the

Nearly 100 activists met in New York removal inJanmiry ofanother top New

March 6 to launch ~ new organization, . York union leader, Gus Bevona, who

provisionally called “Contract 2000: lost his $450,000 a year post at SEIU

City Workers for Real Change.” Local 32B-3~.

The organization will iniuate a campaign

to get decent contracts for city DOUBLE ZEROS

workers in the upcoming round of bar- New York municipal workers face a

gaining with the city. The drive is also pattern of bargaining which has

propelled by ongoing revelations of allowed a handful of top leaders to sit

corruption and contract vote fraud at down with the mayor and produce

AFSCME Distriq Council37, the city’s contracts which have been nothing

largest municipal union. short of disastrous. The infamous

The meeting was introduced by the “double zeros” in the last contractstwo

AFSCME rank and file leaders two years offrozen wages-are just the

most responsible for exploding the tip of the iceberg.

scandals m DC37: Ray Markey, presi- Virtually all the city’s union leaders

dent of 1930, and Mark supported Giuliani for reelection or

Rosenthal, president ofLocal983. As a were neutral. The defeat of the legal

truck driver for the Parks Deparunent, aid attorneys’ strike in 1994, the intraRosenthal

exposed the ballot-stuffing duction of workfare workers by the

which led to ratification ofDC37’s cur- tens of thousands, Giuliani’s attacks on

rent contract with the City. Rosenthal immigrant taxi drivers and street venvowed

to “bre~k the patte~n of sell-out dors-all these were possible only with

contracts for City workers. the acquiescence of the union leaders.

· Markey called the meeting “his- They are part and parcel of his law and .

toric.” “Now we can reach out and order campaign against workinfi class

change the labor movement in New New York, which culminated . m the

York City,” he said. · murder of an unarmed immigrant

The DC 37 reformers, organized in African street vendor, who was shot 19

“The Committee for Real Change,” times by city cops.

were joined by the leaders of rank and The tide, however, may be turning.

file movements in nearly all the munic- There are now anti-Giuliani demonipal

unions. strations almost daily.

Tpese included: The New Two confrontations are coming.

Directions Caucus in TWU Local 100, TWU member Eladio Diaz ·reminded

which won .49 percent of the vote in the meeting that the trarisit contract

last year’s local election; the New expires in December. And the state has

Action Caucus, a major force in the already proposed an appalling conUnited

Federation of Teachers, which tract for the 75,000-member Civil

iiJ. the last round organized the Service Employees Association, where

unprecedented rejection of two union an agreement could once; again start

contract proposals; the New Caucus, the sell-out pattern rolling.

PSC/CUNY; municipal workers in In addition to demands for a living


Teamsters Local . 237, members of wage, other issues which unite these

TDU; the Association of Legal Aid workers include:

Attorneys/UAW. · • An end to the workfare proThese

groups were joined by lead- gram-union rights for all working

ers of the Progressive Action people. · . .

· · Caucus/UFf; the Civil Service Bar • Opposition to privatization of

Attorneys; and the Association for public services. :

Union Democracy. • Opposition to the use of part-time

Just two days before the meeting, and temporary workers.

four more DC 37 officials were • Return to full pension rights for

removed from office. They included all city workers.

Albert Diop, former Director Stanley • No more five-year contracts.

Hill’s closest advisor. Diop and three • Open and democratic procedures

associates in Locall549, a clerical local in allliargaining.

where pay averages about $25,000, The meeting decided to launch a

were accused of spending more than “Contract 2000” campaign. A rally to

$2 million of the union’s money with- kick off the campaign is tentatively set

out documentation. . Diop made for May 8. [J

$191,000 last year and hved m a pent- !Cal Winslow teaches at the Center for

house atop the ·Union’s lower Worker Education/City College: He is a mem·

Manhattan headquarters. ber of the New Caucus/PSC/CUNY.J

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