A Journal of 1199SEIU May/June 2017
Toward a More Perfect Union The Unity & Power Campaign, Page 10
3 Editorial “We Have To Take The Power Back Into Our Own Hands.” 4 The President’s Column The People United Will Never Be Defeated!
@1199seiu www.1199seiu.org 2
6 Around the Regions Staten Island members Zumba to fight Parkinson’s Disease; 1199 hosts annual Asian Pacific Heritage Month celebration; and more new organizing victories.
9 Our Delegates Though Prince George’s County Hospital Unit Clerk Bill Pigford has lived through some of the most convulsive times in U.S. history, he’s worried about what we’re facing right now. 10 Unity & Power Conference More than 1,000 members gathered in Atlantic City, NJ, to discuss union strength and develop battle plans for the time ahead.
13 The Work We Do 1199SEIU represents workers at LGBTQI rights organizations the Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBTQ Task Force in Washington, D.C.
18 Our Disabled Members These caregivers discuss fears for disabled community if AHCA becomes law.
16 Contract Victories Workers are hanging tough at the bargaining table for better patient care.
22 The Last Word Climate justice activist Anthony Rodgers Wright discusses how Big Green can become more diverse.
20 The Climate March There Is No Planet B!
Members from left to right: Dawn Rose, Kingsbrook Jewish Hospital, NYC; David DeCosta, Tobey Hospital, MA; Sade Reed, Northside Hospital, FL; Clinton DePaolo, Einstein College of Medicine, NYC; David Telfer, Loretto Nursing Home, Upstate NY; Katrina Johnson, Overlea Rehabilitation and Nursing Home, MD; Elizabeth Hayes, Windemere Nursing Home, MA; Andrew Taylor, Florida Medical Center, FL; Tanaciea Crawdford-Griffith, Jamaica Hospital, NYC; Nicholas Torres, Amboy Care Center, NJ
1199 Magazine May/June 2017 Vol. 35, No. 3 ISSN 2474-7009 Published by 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East 310 West 43rd St. New York, NY 10036 T: (212) 582-1890 www.1199seiu.org
Editorial: “We Have To Take The Power Back Into Our Own Hands” The Unity & Power Campaign strengthens us to help determine the course of our nation.
At this moment, it’s about 38 days until our Union members complete the vote on the amendments that are the center of the Unity and Power Campaign being conducted in 1199. These amendments to our Union’s Constitution were recommended by our Executive Council. The changes were put forth so our organization will be better prepared for the new realities we and all of our labor and progressive allies are facing: a viciously antilabor Trump Administration, larger managements working in unprecedented concert to push back against workers in negotiations and on the job, and a beleaguered healthcare system in need of repair that is instead under attack. S hould right wing ideologues succeed in destroying the Affordable Care Act, we’ll see massive job loss and healthcare cuts affecting those who need it most: our poor, senior, minority, indigenous and rural communities. In this issue’s Letters column Linda Dickman and Erica Broussard, RNs at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, NY, write a poignant reminder of the very real consequences of standing down in the face of this struggle: “During our careers we have witnessed drug addiction and overdose, but recently we have witnessed many drug-related deaths among the children of friends. We can’t remain silent. Mental health and substance use disorders—including addiction and dependence on heroin and prescription opioid medications —are quickly reaching epidemic proportions. In New York, there were 3,009 drug-induced deaths in 2015, a 54 percent increase over 10 years, equaling or exceeding the national average every single year.” They point out that this problem Illustration by Luba Lukova
George Gresham secretary treasurer
Maria Castaneda executive vice presidents
Jacqueline Alleyne Norma Amsterdam Yvonne Armstrong Lisa Brown Ruth Heller Maria Kercado Steve Kramer Tyrek Lee Joyce Neil Monica Russo Rona Shapiro Milly Silva Gregory Speller Veronica Turner-Biggs Laurie Vallone Estela Vazquez editor
Patricia Kenney director of photography
Jim Tynan photographer
Belinda Gallegos art direction & design Maiarelli Studio cover photograph
Belinda Gallegos contributors
Brinley Lloyd-Bollard Mindy Berman JJ Johnson Allison Krause Erin Mei Sarah Wilson
will only spiral nationwide if the Republicans’ American Health Care Act with its draconian cuts is allowed to become reality. Our nurses are not alone in their concern; in our feature about disabled members, NYU Langone secretary Marie James expresses her fear for how the AHCA could deny coverage to millions of disabled Americans now protected under the Affordable Care Act. “The passage of the Act would relegate disabled persons to second-class status, ” says James. At the May Unity and Power conference in Atlantic City, President Gresham passionately
spoke to members about their role in redirecting the nation. “We are not here just to understand this moment, but to determine what we are going to do about it,” was his directive to the roomful of leaders. Wesna Blaise, a wound nurse at Cranford Rehab in Cranford, NJ, got the message. “We have a President of the United States who wants to take away everything we work for. We are in danger,” she affirmed. “We have to take the power back into our own hands so we can care for our loved ones and the elderly people.”
1199 Magazine is published six times a year—January/ February, March/ April, May/June, July/ August, September/ October, November/ December—for $15.00 per year by 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, 310 W.43 St, New York, NY 10036. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 1199 Magazine, 310 W.43 St., New York, NY 10036.
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RNS: AHCA IS A DISASTER FOR DRUG TREATMENT
e are nurses in New York’s Hudson Valley who have been personally touched by the opioid epidemic besieging our communities. Three of our peers recently experienced the loss of a family member from opioid addiction. As frontline caregivers, we too often feel powerless. During our careers we have witnessed drug addiction and overdose, but recently we have witnessed many drug-related deaths among the children of friends. We can’t remain silent. Mental health and substance use disorders—including addiction and dependence on heroin and prescription opioid medications—are quickly reaching epidemic proportions. In New York, there were 3,009 drug-induced deaths in 2015, a 54 percent increase over 10 years, equaling or exceeding the national average every single year. A shocking 1.4 million New Yorkers currently suffer from a substance abuse disorder. Policymakers have pursued several strategies to address the crisis, including new appropriations for treatment and prevention and improved rules for prescribers. We support these measures, but comprehensive health insurance—which covers 94 percent of New Yorkers—remains the foundation of New York’s response. Our concerns intensified when the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (ACHA). Slashing Medicaid spending in the midst of this opioid epidemic will deprive millions of Americans of the rehabilitation services they’ve benefited from since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. Without access to affordable, comprehensive coverage, those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders will be unable to access the care they need, including the medication assisted treatments. The AHCA also withdraws funding disproportionately from rural areas, which are financially vulnerable, dependent on public payers and most affected by the epidemic. Compounding the harm, the bill imposes $1 billion in new cuts to New York’s Disproportionate Share Hospitals, forcing cutbacks at uninsured New Yorkers’ last best option for care. Eliminating treatment services that could plunge addicts back into disease. Our New York elected officials know the problems, yet Congressman John Faso and four other upstate Congressional representatives voted for the disastrous AHCA. The U.S. Senate now has the responsibility to ensure that health care remains accessible and affordable to everyone.
Linda Dickman, RN, Orange Regional Medical Center Erica Broussard, RN, Orange Regional Medical Center Let’s hear from you. Send your letters to: 1199SEIU’s 1199 Magazine, 330 W. 42nd St, 7th Fl., New York, NY 10036, Attn: Patricia Kenney, Editor; or email them to Patriciak@1199.org. Please put Letters in the subject line of your email. 4
The President’s Column by George Gresham
Our Union Rejects Today’s Poisonous Greed The progressive values of 1199’s founders became the DNA of our Union.
I’m so proud of 1199SEIU for many reasons, but one that I’m most proud about is our diversity. There are 196 countries in the world and I’d be surprised if there are many that aren’t represented in our union. When you include all the denominations, there are some two dozen major religions practiced in our country and 1199 members are included in all of them. And of course we also have thousands of non-believers. 1199ers can be counted across the political spectrum. And yet we are all together in one union. For anyone unfamiliar with 1199 history, it wasn’t always like this. Our union was formed in 1932 as a pharmacists and drugstore workers’ organization. The few thousand members were nearly all white men, and predominantly Jewish. The founding president, Leon Davis, was an immigrant from Poland whose family fled severe poverty, antiSemitism and political repression. The progressive values that led Davis to organize 1199 became the DNA of our union. These included the rights of workers to a voice on the job and a decent living; the willingness to “go to the mat” with the employers to achieve this; the necessity of unity of the membership and of solidarity with workers everywhere. These same values led Leon Davis and his co-workers, some 25 years later, to organize the tens of thousands of workers in New York City’s voluntary hospitals—risking
jail as this was against the law at the time—understanding that this new, much larger membership would be predominantly African-American and Latina women, thereby fundamentally changing the culture of 1199 forevermore. That decision, and the heroic organizing drives that followed, was taken nearly 60 years ago. And we have now grown to embrace hospital workers, nurses, nursing home workers, homecare workers and every other sector of the healthcare industry, not only in New York City but throughout New York State, and in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington D.C. and Florida. Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, used to refer to New York City as “a gorgeous mosaic,” and I like to think of our union members that way. Our diversity—and our unity in diversity—is our greatest strength. Being an 1199er, it is always shocking to see news photos of the Trump Administration and Congressional leaders, who are nearly always a collection of white men. Clearly this is not representative of what our country looks like. The traditional motto of the United States, printed on our coins and dollar bills, is the Latin e pluribus unum—Out of many, one. But we are now living under a national political leadership that is perhaps the most divisive in our history since the days of Jim Crow apartheid.
Former Mayor David Dinkins used to refer to New York City as “a gorgeous mosaic,” and I like to think of our union members that way. Our diversity—and our unity in diversity—is our greatest strength.
All the more reason why we in 1199—whatever our color, faith, political viewpoint, job classification, neighborhood, country of origin, gender or sexual orientation—need to embrace the original slogan of the American labor movement: “An injury to one is an injury to all.” Or, as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in another context, “We must learn to live together as brothers, or we are going to perish together as fools.” We are living through a time when greed of a truly monstrous kind is being promoted by the most powerful men in our government—taking money from poor and working people and from the government programs for which we’ve fought so long, and giving it to already obscenely wealthy individuals and corporations. Unquestionably, this message is also being fostered by many employers in our country. Their most powerful weapon to achieve this is to divide our people—against those of other beliefs, colors, national origins, genders, and so on. By its example, our union stands as a strong rejection of this poisonous ideology. By its example of unity in diversity, 1199 holds important lessons for our children, our communities and our fellow workers. We take encouragement from Catholic social teaching under Pope Francis that human solidarity empowers everyone to attain their full potential through each of us respecting each other’s dignity, rights and responsibilities and makes the world a better place to live. Labor movements throughout the world have long embraced the slogan of the working class of Chile, “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido.” The people united will never be defeated! Let’s keep that in mind as we face the difficult challenges ahead.
1199ers joined hundreds in NYC to protest a visit by Rep. Paul Ryan to a #Harlem #charterschool on May 9. Demonstrators demanded an end to the attempts to repeal the #ACA and fair #publiceducation for all! #carenotchaos
“Nursing home workers at Alameda Center in Perth Amboy, NJ, have averted a strike that was scheduled for today and won a new contract protecting standards for quality resident care and good jobs! #1199strong #WhenWeFightWeWin”
These healthcare workers are FIRED UP for the #ClimateMarch! We have over 30 buses heading to DC to fight for clean air, water & health!
We Won! Healthcare workers at St John’s Riverside in Yonkers, New York, have voted unanimously to join 1199SEIU. Congratulations on this outstanding victory and welcome to the 1199SEIU family!
“Congratulations to all of you. Thanks to the educational benefits afforded to us by 1199. We all need to support our Union in the Unity & Power Campaign. We have so much that we can potentially lose if our Union does not have the resources to fight the many challenges ahead. Forward ever, Backwards never!” - RN Debra Friedland, to our new community health workers at Bronx Lebanan Hospital.
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Around the Regions Workers held an informational picket at Amboy Nursing and Rehab in NJ in April to demand a fair contract.
NJ Nursing Home Members Picket for Safe Staffing Nursing home caregivers at three facilities operated by Michael Konig, owner of Broadway Healthcare Management, held pickets April 4, 5 and 6 to protest unfair labor practices and to demand better staffing levels and a contract guaranteeing them a path towards a $15 minimum wage. Workers at the trio of homes— ManhattanView Nursing Home in Union City, Amboy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Perth Amboy and Teaneck Nursing Center in Teaneck—held actions on successive days to call attention to their need for more staff. Geraldine Ballentine, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Teaneck Nursing Center, said these conditions make it difficult to provide quality, oneon-one care for her residents. “I’ve worked here for over 30 years,” said Ballentine. “We used to have six CNAs on the overnight shift, but now we only have four, which means I am responsible for caring for 26 residents on my floor. I want to be able to give special care and attention to each one, but it is so difficult with our 6
current staffing levels.” CNAs provide most direct bedside care to nursing home residents, including feeding, dressing and bathing, but according to the most recent data available from the New Jersey Department of Health, all three of Konig’s homes have CNA staffing levels below state averages. Overnights are particularly low, with the institutions in the bottom 11 percent of New Jersey’s nursing homes. Hilda Ynfante, a CNA at ManhattanView, says the situation has to improve so workers can provide care for the residents who depend on them. “We need an agreement that guarantees good staffing levels. We can’t be short,” says Ynfante. “We want to have enough people to cover when someone falls down. You go room by room, feeding those who cannot eat by themselves.” “I’ve worked at my facility for 10 years, and earn only $9.54 an hour,” said Claudia Moya, a dietary aide at ManhattanView. “The cost of everything is going up but I haven’t received a raise in years. It’s a struggle to even afford food.”
New Organizing: Workers Vote 1199 to Have Their Say On May 18, 30 medical technologists at St John’s Riverside Medical Center in Yonkers, NY voted unanimously to join 1199SEIU. Central issues for the techs were pensions, job security, affordable quality health care and educational benefits. On April 25, more than 125 Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Technicians at TLC Health Network in Irving, NY voted overwhelmingly to join 1199SEIU. “We need more fairness on the job. With a union, we are looking forward to seeing an end to favoritism and seeing work ethic, experience and dedication to patient care counting for more,” said TLC radiologic technologist Vicki Bradigan. TLC workers were also anxious about having a voice at work and as healthcare professionals. “In the ever-changing world of health care, it is important that the employees have a voice in the change,” added RN Tammy Yeager. “Being part of 1199 will give this small market hospital a bigger voice for our future.” Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Laboratory Technicians, Clinical Assistants, Outreach workers and Patient Representatives and Navigators at the Southampton, Riverhead and Greenport, NY locations of Hudson River Health Care (HRHCare) voted 39 to 6 on May 25 in favor of 1199 representation. The election brings 50 workers at the three eastern Long Island community health centers into 1199SEIU.
RNs to Lawmakers: We’re the Backbone of Health Care
Hundreds of Registered Nurses headed to Albany, NY for a Lobby Day on May 11 to discuss with elected officials the team approach to health care and the vital role of Registered Nurses. 1199SEIU RNs spoke with representatives from across the state about why they need to be concerned about the retirement of large numbers of experienced nurses, how the nursing team approach ensures high levels of quality care, how patient acuity is related to staffing levels, and how changes to nursing education requirements will benefit healthcare institutions and working nurses.
Florida Maryland Massachusetts New Jersey New York Washington, D.C.
Opponents of plan to store fracked gas in NYS Finger Lakes region won a recent victory when company making the effort backed off the bid.
Seneca Lake Fight Continues, But Score One for Mother Nature! Opponents of a plan to store gas near Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York declared a partial victory in mid-May when Crestwood, the Texas-based company seeking to build the storage containers in the lake’s unlined salt caverns, announced it was abandoning plans to store methane gas in the area. According to a filing with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the company couldn’t secure long-term contractual commitments with customers. Salt caverns near Seneca Lake have a history of collapsing and the prospect of gas storage at such an unsafe site alarmed community members, including the thousands of 1199SEIU members and their families who depend on drinking water from the Finger Lakes. In 2015, 1199SEIU joined Gas Free Seneca, a diverse group of coalition members fighting to
stop Crestwood. “This is a tremendous victory for those who fought for years to protect Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes,” said Yvonne Taylor, Vice President of Gas Free Seneca. Last year, 1199SEIU’s Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution opposing Crestwood’s plan, stating: “1199 is proud to support the efforts of hundreds of committed activists across the region who have the courage to stand up to Crestwood and protest its pursuit of profit at the expense of the health of our communities.” Since that time, Union members and staff collected hundreds of petition signatures opposing the plan, made their voices heard at press conferences locally and at the state capital, participated in blockades near Seneca Lake and staged a protest in front of Con Edison’s winter shareholder meeting in NYC.
Salt caverns near Seneca Lake have a history of collapsing and the prospect of gas storage at such an unsafe site alarmed community members.
RUMC Members Shake it for a Cure for Parkinson’s Members at Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) on Staten Island, NY hit the dance floor April 23 to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease research. RUMC registrar Carolyn Gardner, whose brother Ron was diagnosed with the disease 15 years ago, organized the hospital’s 4th Annual Zumbathon. “I have met so many people whose family members passed away from Parkinson’s,” said Gardner. “This was not just for my brother, this was for everybody.” More than 40 participants “Zumba’d” away a Sunday afternoon and helped raise $4,000
Members at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island, NY raised $4,000 for Parkinson’s Disease research with a Zumbathon, April 23.
Rochester March For Racial Justice “Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort and the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice.”–MLK Day of Action in Rochester, NY, April 4, with Metro Justice and Coalition of Black Trade Unionists’ Rochester Chapter. #fightfor15
for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. All of the prizes and services for the event were donated by local vendors and community members. “Even if we had just raised $10 it would have been amazing. It was just about getting the word out, but what we did raise toward a cure is just amazing,” says Gardner. “There just has to be a cure for this disease.”
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Traditional dance from the Phillipines at this year’s NYC Asian American Pacific Islander celebration.
Around the Regions
Nurse of Distinction Awards Presented May 5 The annual Nurse of Distinction Awards were presented May 5 in a ceremony held at a midtown Manhattan hotel. Leaders from 1199SEIU, the League of Voluntary Hospitals and the 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds work every year with the Nurse of Distinction planning committee—representing both union and management—to honor nurses from across the professional spectrum for their commitment to nursing. The nurses considered for the prizes are nominated by their peers and managers. This year’s winners are: • Marjorie Cooke, Beth Israel Mount Sinai, Nurse of Distinction in a Hospital Setting • Linda Dickman, Orange Regional Medical Center, Nurse of Distinction in a Hospital Setting, First Runner Up • Marcia Butler-Hurlington, St. Barnabas Medical Center, Nurse of Distinction in a Hospital Setting, Second Runner Up • Valeria Jamison, Schervier Nursing Home-Bon Secours, Nurse of Distinction in a Nursing Home Setting • Angella Chambers, Schulman and Schachne Institute, Nurse of Distinction in a Nursing Home Setting, First Runner Up • Robert Lynch, Mount Sinai Brooklyn, Nurse Leader • Lynn Keith, Good Samaritan Hospital, Nurse Preceptor • Sarah Stewart, Bon Secours Community Hospital, Novice Nurse
Excel NH Workers Testify at Home’s Ownership Review Hearing Joann Mills, a CNA at Excel Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Lexington, MA for over 25 years, testified on May 15 at a hearing convened by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to review the facility’s proposed change in ownership. Mills described years of uncertainty surrounding ownership and management at the facility and spoke passionately about the urgent need for continuity, stability and transparency to ensure she and her fellow workers can continue to provide the quality care that the people in their care deserve. “People’s lives are at stake,” she said at the hearing.
Asian American Pacific Islander Celebration 1199SEIU’s Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus held its annual celebration on May 23 in the Union’s Cherkasky/ Davis Penthouse. The event drew scores of 1199ers, guests and community allies who joined Caucus members for the yearly celebration of Asian American Pacific Heritage. The event included traditional music and dance, cuisines from throughout Asia and a panel discussion of challenges facing some of our Asian-American members and allies on the job and in our communities. Jian Mei, a pharmacy tech at New York Presbyterian Hospital, is the son of 1199 members and calls himself a ‘union baby.’ “You guys motivate me to become a delegate and to give a voice to the ones that don’t have a voice and for those who may
be fearful of speaking up for their rights,” he said. Shilpa Patel, a pharmacist a Rite Aid, moved to the U.S. from India with her family when she was s little girl. Patel says that her experience reflects that of many Asian Americans. “I’m very proud of my parents. They came here in the 1980’s when it wasn’t like it is now,” she said. “They faced a lot of racism, but they struggled and they succeeded. And they raised my brothers and me, and we are all professionals.” The evening’s keynote speaker was Luisa Blue, executive vice president of 1199’s parent union, SEIU. Blue reminded attendees how much AsianAmericans have contributed to U.S. society and how much there is to lose. “You must be ready to stand up in 2018, 2020 and beyond,” she said.
Tens of Thousands of Haitians in U.S. Could Lose Humanitarian Protections
Obama Administration after the 2010 earthquake and renewed after last year’s Hurricane Matthew. The day after the press conference Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced a six-month extension of the program, but promised to revisit the policy, leaving Haitian immigrants around the country fearful for the future. 1199ers throughout the regions held actions calling for the renewal of TPS. The Trump Administration contends it’s best for displaced Haitians to return to their homeland, asserting post-disaster conditions have vastly improved.
1199SEIU members and their allies gathered in New York City’s Foley Square May 16 for a press conference to demand that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security renew the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) of tens of thousands of Haitian immi grants living in the United States. TPS is a humanitarian immigration status provided to Haitians by the 8
O U R D E L E G AT E S
stems from his core values of justice and equality.
Our Delegates: Prince George’s Hospital Center Unit Specialist Bill Pigford Bill Pigford marched with Dr. King and treated wounded soldiers in Vietnam. He’s worried about today’s threats to all he’s helped fight for. Bill Pigford, a Unit Specialist at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, MD, says he has no time for people who did not bother to vote in the 2016 election. “If you didn’t vote,” he tells people, “You actually did vote for the person who is in office.” Pigford, 74, was born, it could be said, into the role of passionate leadership. As a young man, he was active in the civil rights movement as a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), helping provide shelter, food and transportation to young people who came to the South to press for change. Pigford also took part in sit-ins and protests. He was in his early twenties when civil rights activists Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney were abducted and murdered by white supremacists for their work registering Black voters in Mississippi. The murders sparked national outrage and Pigford’s mother warned her young son away from his work with CORE. “You need to stop what you’re doing, because people are going to kill you,” she pleaded. He refused. “If I have to go on living like we have been then I’m already dead,” he reasoned. Pigford was among those arrested at lunch counter sit in at Laurel’s Pinehurst Hotel in Laurel, Miss. “I just wanted to order some coffee and some pie,” he says. For his request Pigford was locked up for 30 days in the Laurel County Jail. “In that time, I was never charged with any crime and never had a day in court. I spent my 21st birthday in jail,” he notes sardonically. It took a visit from the U.S. Federal
“Every man and every woman should be able to feed their families,” believes Pigford, “and working together in our union is the best way we can fight to ensure that everyone can.”
Bill Pigford, a Unit Specialist at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, MD and a 1199 delegate.
Bureau of Investigations to free him. “I was removed by FBI agents because an informant told them I was going to be killed that night,” he says matter-of-factly. Pigford went on to help organize buses for Mississippi for the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. He then became a combat medic in the Vietnam War. He carried on his civil rights work in the U.S. Army, becoming an equal opportunities and race relations non-commissioned officer. Pigford retired from the army in 1996 as a Master Sargent. For the last 20 years he’s worked at Prince George’s Hospital. His dedication to his role as a delegate
“Every man and every woman should be able to feed their families,” believes Pigford, “and working together in our union is the best way we can fight to ensure that everyone can.” “I had prostate cancer and the only reason I’m alive today is because my union health insurance meant I was able to go to the doctor on time and receive the 41 shots of radiation I needed.” Yet, for all he’s been though, he’s still alarmed at the division in today’s society; it should raise alarms for everyone, he says. “Now I’m worried because everything I have fought for all my life can be taken away with the stroke of a pen,” he says flatly. Pigford counsels unity and action, not bitterness, as the path forward. “Man’s injustice to man has caused such pain, I don’t want my legacy to be about hatred. We are living in dangerous times and we need to vigilant,” he says “The union is the only organization in today’s chaotic world that is fighting to bring back the balance of power to our nation. People who are unionized are like brothers and sisters. If we stand together we will prevail.”
The “ struggles we face now are very serious. I don’t remember a time quite like now when the country was so divided.”
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UNITY & POWER:
A MORE PERFECT UNION
Members gather to strengthen the Union for a multifront assault.
More than 1,000 of the Union’s most active members and delegates gathered in Atlantic City, NJ on May 1–3 for the Unity and Power Conference, several days of frank discussion about the critical moment facing the labor movement and the nation. The summit was a unionwide listening and brainstorming session. At the top of the agenda was building strong chapters and resources for fights now and down the road. Members also discussed a set of Constitutional Amendments proposed by the Union’s Executive Council. These amendments, announced in the April/May 1199 Magazine, would ensure that the Union has the resources and structural strength to meet future challenges. (See sidebar on p. 12 for more information.) ‘We Are In Danger’ In his welcome at the Atlantic City Convention Center, 1199SEIU Pres. George Gresham did not mince words about the escalating threat in the nation’s halls of power to 1199 and its mission. He described the current wave of broadsides against labor, health care, workers and civil rights; he also shared his hope for
the future and confidence in the power of 1199 members. “The energy and time we have in this room can change the country,” said Gresham. “We are here not just to understand this moment but to determine what we are going to do about it. There is a reason when Dr. King called us the conscience of the labor movement.” New Jersey delegate Wesna Blaise said the event was a teaching moment. 1199ers must quickly reconcile themselves to today’s reality and fashion an appropriate response. “We have President of the United States who wants to take away everything we work for. We are in danger,” said Blaise, a wound nurse at Cranford Rehab in Cranford, N.J. “This is very helpful for us to give our members a sense of what’s really going on in the Union and what’s actually happening in the world. We have to take the power back into our own hands so we can care for our loved ones and the elderly properly.”
Over 1,000 members attended the Unity and Power Conference in Atlantic City, NJ. Stacey JacksonRoberts, a member from the ChaseBrexton Clinic in Baltimore, MD, speaks about her organizing experience. Rev. William Barber delivers te keynote speech.
‘You Have The Power...To Help Millions’ The program included SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer
The healthcare industry is rapidly changing, and we must have a voice in these changes to win strong contracts, fight for healthcare funding, unite all non-union healthcare workers and defend the rights of working people. 1199 Magazine 11
Gerry Hudson, 1199 President Emeritus Dennis Rivera and Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, who were among the organizers of January’s historic Women’s March. Mallory and Perez spoke proudly of 1199’s tradition of intersectionality and advocacy for the marginalized. Rivera and Hudson reminded members that 1199’s mission of equality and justice for all. “Whatever troubles our members is Union business,” Hudson affirmed. Rivera spoke of 1199ers’ multifaceted and transformational work, holding up as an example the historic passage of the Affordable Care Act. 1199ers need their Union
to be at full strength to defend these victories, he said. He passionately entreated members to support the goal of a properly-resourced Union. “You have the power to not only help yourselves, but to help millions of people in the U.S.,” Rivera intoned. The conference included exercises encouraging conversation and communication. Members shared how they’re affected by changing conditions in their industries and communities. “I hope this will teach us how to get people more involved with the Union, “ said Chandra Chakraverty, a pharmacy tech who has worked at the Rikers Island Prison Complex in New York City for 30 years. “I was active in the Union before, but I’ve been a delegate for a year. I’m even more involved now because we have a contract coming up, so I felt I needed to be here. We definitely need more delegates.” ‘We Have Got to Find A Way to Come Together’ The event’s keynote speaker was firebrand civil rights leader Rev. William Barber, an outspoken labor ally and head of North Carolina’s NAACP chapter. Barber raised the call for an expansive and just society for all people; he challenged 1199ers to be among its leaders. “We have got to find a way to come together so we don’t have movement fatigue,” he said. “And sometimes you won’t know how strong you are until you see what people throw against you.” Tyrone Johnson, a clinical tech at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C., believes the conference was effective in its goal of strengthening members for the tough times ahead. “We have a lot going on in our union and with the way the government is, things can get a lot worse for us,” he says. “We have to be ready to explain to people that things are about more than us in our shops. We have to be ready to make sure people get what they need because the next time it could be you.”
THE UNITY & POWER CAMPAIGN: INCREASING MEMBERSHIP ENGAGEMENT AND RESOURCES
• Building strong chapters with increased membership engagement • Increasing resources to effectively fight in our chapters and beyond • Constitutional Amendments proposed by the Union’s Executive Council to the 1199SEIU Constitution and announced in the April/May issue 1199 Magazine, are geared toward expanding Union participation and resources. • Secret ballot voting on the proposed Constitutional Amendments is underway throughout the Union at membership meetings and by mail ballot for members in New York’s Home Care Division, OPWDD Chapters and Massachusetts’ PCA Chapters. Members will receive notice at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the date, time and place of their Chapter meeting vote. Notices will be posted and otherwise distributed.
THE WORK WE DO
The Human Rights Campaign & the National LGBTQ Task Force 1199SEIU represents workers at the Human Rights
Campaign (HRC) and the National LGBTQ Task Force. The Task Force was founded in 1973 in New York City as the National Gay Task Force. The Human Rights Campaign was founded in 1980 as the first gay and lesbian political action committee in the United States. Task Force and HRC workers are on the
front lines of the fight against antiLGBTQI hate crime, ensuring funding for healthcare and the treatment HIV/AIDS and advocating for rights and fairness in the workplace. Their jobs are dedicated to advancing the LGBTQI struggle for equality at work, home and in the community.
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THE WORK WE DO previous page:
Nicole Armbruster is Associate Director of Membership Outreach at the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. 1. Victoria Kirby York, National Campaigns Director, Religious Exemptions and Welcoming Movements at the Task Force in Washington, D.C. Kirby York is responsible for organizing faith leaders and people of faith against â€œReligious Freedom Restration Actsâ€? that seek to provide a license to discriminate against LGBTQ persons. 2. Human Rights Campaign Membership Outreach Coordinator Catherine Rattelle and Zack Hasychak, Associate Director of Membership Outreach, update a Pride staff training PowerPoint presentation. HRC sends staff to 40+ events nationwide throughout Pride season.
3. Camden Hargrove is a Field Organizer at the LGBTQ Task Force.
4. Kayley Whalen is Digital Strategies and Social Media Manager at the National LGBTQ Task Force and on the Leadership Committee of the Trans United Fund. She works on the intersections of racial justice, disability advocacy, LGBTQ issues and immigration and drug policy reform.
5. Shanequa Davis is a Field Organizer at the National LGBTQ Task Force.
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Members Hang Tough at the Bargaining Table Patient care and safe staffing are central issues for workers in contract negotiations.
A relieved group of 1199SEIU members at Hudson Park Nursing Home in Albany, NY unanimously ratified a collective bargaining agreement in April, after a year of negotiations, meetings, candlelight vigils, and informational picketing. The nursing home is owned and operated by Upstate Services Group (USG), which acquired the former Julie Blair Nursing Home in 2011. Despite the fact USG is known for taking over upstate New York nursing homes and cutting staff and benefits, members negotiated an agreement they say will improve quality of life for workers, their families and residents. “We provide services and care to people who are ill—we have to be healthy when we come to work. All it takes is one illness to bankrupt your family, so you need insurance. And now, who knows what will happen in Washington,” said negotiating committee member Radcliffe McPherson. “I paid for the employer’s insurance, even though the premiums were so high it meant that I barely had anything left in my paycheck to pay my bills.” “Under the new contract almost immediately my weekly premium will be reduced from $47 to $23. That’s $96 more a month that I will have,” added McPherson, a dietary worker at Hudson Park for more than two decades. Hudson Park’s negotiating committee continuously cited high staff turnover at the institution. “Who suffers when there is frequent staff turnover? Our residents who depend on quality continuity of care.” said negotiating committee member Sharmaine Allen, a CNA. “This contract takes a big step in the right direction toward being able to maintain staff.” In addition to significant improvements in health benefits, the agreement includes annual raises, inclusion in the 1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund and improvements in personal time and other time off. The 160-member
bargaining unit includes certified nursing assistants, recreation aides, dietary, laundry and environmental and services workers. Workers at Alameda Care Center in Perth Amboy, NJ averted a strike planned for May 17 and were ratifying a new contract instead of walking a picket line planned for the day. Workers at the institution were fighting for better staffing and a contract guaranteeing them a path to $15 an hour. The institution was previously owned by Aristacare and came under new ownership in April 2016. Workers at Alameda have been fighting for better standards since then; they say staffing is imperative to provide the kind of care their residents need and the jobs demand. “We’re here to fight for better wages, a better insurance plan and respect,” said Alameda CNA Olajuwon Jackson at an April 6 informational picket. “We are not robots. We are human beings!” Workers at Wingate at Dutchess and Wingate at Ulster nursing homes can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been more than two years since the workers, seeking economic security and a voice on the job, voted to join 1199SEIU. “Our victory is certainly not just being handed to us and we didn’t expect it would be. You have to fight for what is right — being patient helps too,” said Gwendolyn Jones, a CNA at Wingate at Ulster. At press time, Wingate workers are close to the end of a hard won struggle: a contract. The workers are waiting anxiously for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, D.C. to sign off on a small piece of the settlement that’s been agreed to by the negotiating committee and employer. In the meantime, they are about to achieve their most important—and at one time most distant—goals: a path to economic security with guaranteed wage increases and a lump sum bonus. Wingate workers were burdened by the price of health benefits; the hope
Members at Hudson Park NH in Albany, NY settled a contract in April, after a year of pickets, vigils and negotiations.
NY Congress man Sean Patrick Maloney with Wingate workers at a vigil this spring.
is that the final agreement will ease that difficulty by reducing the cost of premiums in the first few years. The employer has also agreed to participate in the 1199SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund in 2020, when members will have little to no premiums, no deductibles, zero to minimal co-pays and excellent prescription dental and vision care benefits. Negotiating committee Maxine Sproul, a CNA at Wingate at Dutchess was pragmatic about the delay on the road to a final contract. “We know we will get past this bump, and that it’s just a matter of time, maybe even a few days. We have been knocked down so many times,” she said. “Over the last few years we have distributed petitions, walked in to management and held a candlelight vigil with good community support. Each time, our voices got louder and our message clearer.” Wingate workers repeated that message many times over the course of their effort as a demonstration of their commitment to quality care. “We love our jobs, we love our residents” Sproul said. “But if coworkers are leaving for better wages and benefits, continuity of care for our
“We love our jobs, we love our residents, but if co-workers are leaving for better wages and benefits, continuity of care for our residents suffers.” residents suffers. We are confident that our hard-fought contract, with good wages and benefits and fair workplace provisions, will help Wingate maintain staff, reduce turnover, and enrich overall quality care for our residents.” Additionally, the employer agreed to not interfere with the efforts of workers at Wingate at Beacon to join 1199SEIU. The Beacon facility is one of 3 nursing homes in the Hudson Valley owned and operated by Wingate Healthcare. Sign-off from the NLRB and contract ratification for were expected by June 30.
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Breaking Down Barriers for Members with
Disabilities Union Caucus will press for rights and inclusion
U. S. Census Bureau statistics indicate that one in five Americans is a person with a disability. Historically these persons have suffered isolation, abuse and neglect. Although the disability rights movement has won significant victories in recent decades, far too many people with disabilities continue to face discrimination. Within 1199SEIU, its Caucus for Persons with Disabilities is making plans to expand the Caucus to help guarantee the rights of all members in the workplace by increasing participation of members with disabilities into the life of the Union. A centerpiece of the disability rights movement is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the 1990 law that prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual with a mental or physical disability in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also covers a broad spectrum of mental and physical conditions that need not be severe or permanent or even visible. Blindness, deafness and mobility impairments are among the most obvious conditions protected under the statute, but diabetes, depressive disorders and less obvious physical and mental conditions also are covered. However the health coverage and the gains of the disability community are in danger. “The Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress
are a major threat to all working people, but people with disabilities are on the frontlines of their attack,” warns Marie James, a member of the Caucus, a delegate at NYU Medical Center in Manhattan and a member of the Union’s highest body, its Executive Council. Her concern about the Trump administration is shared by the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), a national non-profit organization that advocates for and protects the rights of persons with disabilities. It has cited administration directives on the environment, education, civil rights and other areas for their impact on the disability community. “The passage of the American Health Care Act, and the [Congress] members who voted for it, could relegate people with disabilities to second-class status when it comes to health insurance,” the NDRN statement reads. “With their votes, they approved of people with disabilities being segregated into different insurance, forced to live in poverty and inflicted on them a great worry over how they will get health care the next time an issue arises.” James, a secretary in NYU’s cardiology department, understands the havoc that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would wreak on all patients. “As a disabled person, I understand the need for a support system to help people lead full
productive lives,” she says. “I have a loving husband and mother at home and an accessible work environment that makes it possible to perform my duties, but that should be true for all workers with disability.” Even with a good support system, James’s life is filled with challenges. In 1999, just one year after she helped organize the NYU clericals into 1199, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In recent years, James has been afflicted by trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic painful sporadic shock on one side of the face that lasts for seconds or sometimes minutes. “As a secretary, I have to spend time on the phone, and I never know when the shock will occur,” James says. The neuralgia struck one recent morning with such intense pain she was unable to continue brushing her teeth. “Since walking is difficult for me, I go to the bathroom at work just once a day,” James says. Her lack of mobility qualifies her for Access-ARide, city-contracted transportation for people with disabilities. She uses a walker to get to the van. She notes that transportation ranks high among the issues for people with disabilities. Many disabled persons complain of cab drivers that pass them by in favor of abled passengers. Worse, are the complaints about public transportation. In April, a group of disability organizations and residents with disabilities brought a class action lawsuit in federal and state courts to bring the NYC subway system – operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – into compliance with the ADA. The suit contends that more than 75 percent of city’s 472 subway stations
1199 organizer Juanita Perkins speaking about the Union’s Caucus for Persons with Disabilities at the May Unity and Power conference.
lack elevators or other means of transportation for riders with wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Disabled individuals are prevented from full participation in society in a variety of ways. They include discriminatory treatment with regard to public facilities, schools and colleges and in the workplace. Preventing any group of workers from full participation weakens unity and saps power at the workplace, reads 1199’s Caucus literature. 1199 leadership at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse addresses this issue. Among the most active members at the hospital are deaf members Brian Brothers and Mildred Webb, environmental services workers on the hospital’s night shift. They are provided translators at Union meetings as well as other means of communicating. They recently spoke to 1199 Magazine through an American Sign Language interpreter. “An advantage of working here is I’m able to defend my rights through our Union,” Brothers says. “I also have a good relationship with my co-workers. We help each other. For example, if there is an announcement over the public address system, my co-workers let me know. Since I’m not able to speak on a phone, coworkers and hospital management can communicate with me through text.” Brothers, who also reads lips, has
u Brian Brothers and Mildred Webb are deaf members at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, NY. They are active in the Union and make sure there are services for deaf members at Union events. u NYU Langone Secretary Marie James depends on Access-A-Ride to travel to and from work. She is an activist for disability rights.
worked at Crouse for 17 years. Webb has been there for 38 years. “I’ve been patient, but I’d like to see more use of interpreters” she says. “Sometimes reading material is not clear. An interpreter will help to make sure that we deaf members as well as hearing individuals are clearly understood. Also, at one time, there were six deaf members at Crouse, and now there are just four.” “I would also like to see more balance,” Brothers says. “For instance, it would be good to have some deaf people in higher positions.” The Union’s Caucus seeks to help the leadership clear the path to equality by tapping the talents and energy of members like James, Brothers and Webb and helping other members to understand that the problem is not a person’s disability; it is abled people’s response to it.
The problem is not the disability, but abled people’s response to it.
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1199ers March for Climate, Jobs and Justice Hundreds of 1199ers from New York, New Jersey and MarylandDC were among the 200,000 plus marchers who poured into the nation’s capital on the hottest April 29 in Washington history for the People’s Climate March. Organized by the People’s Climate Movement and a coalition of dozens of organizations, the march called for social, economic and climate justice and resistance to the Trump administration. Some 370 sister marches across the country and dozens of solidarity actions around the world took place the same day. Almitra Yancey was among the speakers at a labor rally that preceded the Washington march. Yancey is an 1199er who lives on Staten Island, NY, and works in Montefiore Hospital’s Tarrytown site. Yancey, a victim of Hurricane Sandy, noted that communities of color and the poor are disproportionately 20
Members stood up against budget cuts that gut environmental programs.
affected by climate change and extreme climate-related events. 1199ers joined the spirited D.C. march up Pennsylvania Ave. toward the White House bearing placards that read “Green Jobs, not Dirty Fuel,” “Renewable Energy = Good Jobs, Clean Air and a Healthy Planet,” and “Climate Chaos is a Health Care Crisis.” During his first 100 days in office President Trump—with help from climate-change deniers in his administration and right wing extremists in Congress— has rescinded nearly two dozen environmental rules, regulations and other policies of the Obama administration aimed at protecting the environment and limiting global warming. The Trump administration’s
proposed budget for 2018 cuts the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by nearly a third and the agency’s enforcement arm by 40 percent. The budget proposal shuts down programs to clean up the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay and closes the Energy Star program, which informs consumers about the energy efficiency of appliances. The budget also slashes vital climate science and research programs. During President Trump’s first foreign trip in May, he stood alone among the largest industrial nations as he refused to endorse the 2015 international climate agreement to lower greenhouse gas emissions. States such as New York and California continue to enact policies to combat climate change in spite of the administration.
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The Last Word: Anthony Rodgers Wright Anthony Rodgers Wright is an activist and policy director for the national nonprofit Environmental Action. He has presented the case for climate justice, environmental justice, and climate change action at universities nation- and worldwide and written on the subjects for numerous publications. He is one of the creators of “The Leap,” a justice movement that calls for a fundamental shift in the way we care for each other and the earth. Rodgers Wright helped organize the Climate March for Jobs and Justice in Washington, D.C. on April 29. The event brought tens of thousands of people to the nation’s capital. He spoke with 1199 Magazine a day before the march. What follows is an edited version of that interview. Why haven’t Black, indigenous, and poor white people been able to more clearly connect with Big Green? How can labor help? I would switch the question around and ask why Big Green hasn’t connected with those communities. It comes with the process of engaging in ways that foster good communication and solidarity. That has been a systemic problem within the Big Green world. Not just with their organizations, but also how they approach other organizations—just throwing money at them and not bringing people to the table. I can say I was very involved with the corrections to the Merkley Sanders Climate bill that was introduced [in April]. You could see in the original iteration of that bill a disconnect. This bill advertised it was going to be good for communities of color, which of course includes our indigenous sisters and brothers—but when you read the bill it never specifically says indigenous communities. It never says communities of color, either. It only mentions low-income communities, which of course is very insulting because not all low-income communities are Black, Brown or Indigenous, and there are some of us who are not low-income. They forgot the qualitative elements that would characterize communities as environmental justice communities, including the history of segregation and situation of toxic facilities in their communities. Lest we forget that the African American family making $100,000 still is six to ten times more likely than a white family that is making $50,000 to suffer the effects 22
They have food to put on the table. They have children to educate. That does speak to a kind of disconnect on our side. The number of jobs is amazing, but we have to be able to say that these jobs will allow workers to collectively bargain, that the worker standards will be better than extractive energy jobs and that the pay can be at pace with extractive energy jobs. We have to figure that out.
of pollution. As union influence has gone down so have conditions in communities of color. We in the environmental community have to do a better job of engaging labor because labor has always done a great job of engaging in these communities. Labor is extremely important to look at as part of the just transition discussion. What are the narratives the other side is promoting right now? How they are tuned to the working people’s concerns? We have to take what they are saying seriously. My supervisor Naomi Klein said it best in her seminal work “This Changes Everything.” She says the right is right and what that means is these extractive energy jobs, whether they’re pipeline jobs or coal mining jobs, are good-paying jobs. They might lie about the number of jobs that are created by fossil fuel infrastructure, but they are not lying about the pay-scale. On our end what we talk about is renewable energy jobs vastly outpacing fossil fuel jobs; that’s the story that’s being told and what we espouse, but we don’t talk about the quality, because we cannot look our sisters and brothers from labor in the eye and tell them to take a renewable energy jobs that are paying $40,000 to $50,000 less than extractive industry jobs and then call that just transition. The other side knows this; we have to find a way to combat it. We have to find a way to support these brothers and sisters who find themselves displaced. We cannot ask them to take a $30,000 to $40,000 pay cut. They have families.
“I don’t believe there is such a thing as a climate denier. They know what they’re talking about. In the 1970’s we now know that Exxon knew about this. What they deny is their willingness to adjust it because it cuts into their bottom line. ”
Many 1199ers, who live in the most polluted areas of our nation, are impacted daily by food deserts, asthma, allergies and obesity-related health conditions. Talk about the confluence of environmental justice and public health. I would refer you to an amazing report to one of the preeminent scholars on environmental justice, Dr. Robert Bullard. He released a report about why historically Black communities must lead in the climate fight. In his amazing work he shows that regions most vulnerable to climate fueled storms are also where the most food deserts are. I say listen to the experts. If you look at the amazing work of coalitions like NY Renews, these are the experts. We have to hold our media accountable for not telling these stories. It seems whenever they reach out to get an opinion on the climate crisis, it’s usually from the same white men. Only when it’s an article on environmental justice will you get the opinion of [another community leader who is not white]. In truth, all of these community residents are experts on climate change because they have experienced it.
Tell us about the relationship between climate change denial and things which may seem unrelated, such as efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the campaign to end neutrality among Internet providers. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a climate denier. They know what they’re talking about. In the 1970’s we now know that Exxon knew about this. What they deny is their willingness to adjust it because it cuts into their bottom line. That’s what’s really happening. This formed a new way of how to debate climate deniers. When you are denying the existence of physics, what you’re really denying is the need to address racial oppression, the need to address genocide, and slow genocide against indigenous sisters and brothers, the need to address economic injustice—
you’re denying all of those things. All of that contributes to the oppression of climate change. The future that we want includes labor having its place in this country like they did during FDR. When you try to cut the ACA that’s denying climate change. When you break up unions you deny the need for labor to be leaders in the climate fight. When you deny the Dakota Access Pipeline was about rights for indigenous people, you are denying climate change. The idea of climate denial is really all about denying the processes to get us to the world that we want. What are your hopes for the Climate March? What does this mean for our country? What we will see is a reminder of our power and a reminder of what happens when we get together. We
Hundreds of 1199SEIU members marched at the People’s Climate March for Jobs and Justice in Washington, D.C. on April 29.
“The march is a reminder of our power. What we do after is a demonstration of our power. The work starts when you get home: a week after that, a month after and every day.”
saw it with The March for Science; we saw it with the amazing outpouring around the world with women who came together and said, “This is not normal and we are not going to allow this to be seen as normal.” I’m hoping people take actionable items back home with them. Fired up and ready to go. The march is a reminder of our power. What we do after is a demonstration of our power. The work starts when you get home: a week after that, a month after and every day. I hope that message is marrow deep in people’s consciousness. We will see this march led by the most-impacted communities. We are going to lead, and I hope that sticks in people’s mind and increases their desire for inclusive engagement. The march is a good reminder, but we have to demonstrate all of this after the march.
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We Have No Planet B!
Hundreds of 1199ers were among the tens of thousands who poured into the nation’s capital April 29 for the People’s Climate March. Almost one month to the day after, President Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, sending shock waves around the globe. See story on page 20. 1199 Magazine 24