September 2016 Newsletter

Labor 2016 Statewide Schedule and Locations

During September and October, we're continuing to get out the union vote for candidates who support working families! See flier below for details, locations, and schedule.

Las Cruces Tune-Up Tuesday, September 20

Tune-Up Tuesday is a weekly social media tune-up where we post about candidates—"liking" our favorites and trolling our least favorites. Bring your laptop.

Las Cruces: September 20, Azur Lounge, Hotel Encanto, 705 South Telshor Blvd., 5 to 7 pm

Albuquerque's Labor Day Picnic

from Elva Santos, NM ARA

Thank you, Central New Mexico Labor Council, for another great Labor Day picnic and celebration!! Our unions and union members and their families thank you for giving us the opportunity to celebrate this important holiday—one we must never take for granted.

Many labor battles have been fought and won through the years, and we must continue the fight for working families; we must continue to remind our families, friends, and neighbors that it's an ongoing struggle. Bringing unions together at the Labor Day picnic serves as a reminder of our solidarity.

Thanks also to all who volunteered at the food booth, helping to serve the delicious hamburgers and hotdogs (all free), and to those who worked so hard in the heat doing the cooking! Your help was truly appreciated, and we know we can always count on you.

Remembering a Worker Killed at Portales Dairy Farm

from Somos Un Pueblo Unido

On September 5, Labor Day, more than 100 dairy workers, their families, and local faith leaders held a candlelight vigil in Portales to remember Luis Almader, a long-time Portales resident and dairy worker who lost his life as a result of an accident at the J-Lu Dairy Farm.

"My dad had a heart of gold," said Erika Navarrete, Mr. Almader's daughter, who spoke at the vigil. "He was a seasoned dairy worker who worked very hard to provide a better life for his family."

According to Navarrete, her father was crushed by the 2,000-pound bucket of a malfunctioning loader in late July. "He complained about that machine months before the accident," explained Navarrete. "This could have been prevented, that is why we are sharing our story because no one should go through what our family is going through."

Other dairy workers expressed their support. "Now more than ever it's important that we support each other as dairy workers," said Leoncio Gonzalez, a dairy worker and member of Somos Portales. "We all know that this could happen to any one of us, that is why we are coming together, that is why we are organizing and that is why we are working to make sure this does not happen again."

In June, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that farm and ranch laborers, including dairy workers, are entitled to Workers' Compensation insurance protection. New Mexico ranks ninth in milk production across the country and counts on 175 dairy farms, with each farm averaging 3,000 cows and only 20 workers.

Two More Public Safety Units Organize with AFSCME Council 18

from AFSCME Council 18

 (L to R) Anita Apodaca, Dora Castillo, Connie Derr (AFSCME Council 18 Executive Director), and Olga Esquibel

It has been a busy summer for AFSCME Council 18 organizers and the public safety workers who united to organize under the AFSCME flag, ultimately bringing strong worker rights to more than 106 public safety officers!

In a two-day election on July 25 and 26, Rio Arriba County Detention Center Officers voted 12 to 2 to join AFSCME Council 18, covering 18 detention center officers. And on August 18, Sandoval County Detention Center officers voted 40 to 4 to join Council 18, covering 56 officers, with an additional 32 officers on probation.

Click HERE for full article.

NM ARA's Social Security Birthday Celebration

from Elva Santos, NM ARA

Just want to report on the great Social Security Birthday Celebration the NMARA hosted on August 18 at the North Valley Senior Center. We had a great turnout, great music, and a special guest speaker—our dear friend Roy Aragon! It's so good to have him back in Albuquerque!

And we also had cake and punch after the noon meal.

If Politicians Care About a Rigged System, It’s Time to Address Wage Theft

by Catherine Rampell for the Washington Post

If these shenanigans can happen right under the noses of U.S. senators, where else are they happening?
We’ll never know until we get more cops on the beat.

I’m talking about wage theft. That’s the catch-all term for when employers pay their workers less than they legally owe them—by, for example, forcing them to work off the clock, paying below minimum wage or misclassifying them as independent contractors.

Click HERE for full article.

NLRB Allows Graduate Students at Private Universities to Unionize

by Mark Joseph Stern for Slate

On Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that graduate students employed by private universities are permitted to unionize under federal law. The 3–1 decision reversed a previous NLRB ruling that barred these students from unionizing in 2004. Every Ivy League school opposed the decision, which was spurred by Columbia University’s efforts to shut down a union drive on campus.The critical question at issue in this litigation was whether students employed by a private university are “employees” as defined by the National Labor Relations Act.

Click HERE for full article.

Wives Pay Price to Retire with Husbands

from the Center for Retirement Research, Boston College

Wives like to retire around the same time as their older husbands – so they can play. But what a difference the baby boom generation has made.

For boomer wives, as members of the first generation of women to enter the U.S. labor force en masse, there can be a steep cost to leaving the labor force at a relatively young age to retire with an older husband.

Click HERE for full article.

A Labor Movement That’s More About Women

by Jonathan Timm for The Atlantic

The labor movement was once led by male union bosses representing a mostly male workforce. They fought for protections that tended to benefit men; in some cases, male union leaders brushed aside the needs and priorities of women or excluded them altogether.

The University of Toledo law professor Nicole Buonocore Porter writes that many unions in the early 1900s excluded women from their ranks because they feared that the competition would lower men’s wages and harm the traditional family structure.

Click HERE for full article.

MONTHLY REMINDER: Mobile Food Pantry, September 30

Labor Mobile Food Pantry
When: Friday, September 30, 11 am to 1 pm (volunteers, please come at 10 am)
Where: Cesar Chavez Community Center, 7505 Kathryn Ave. SE, Albuquerque [NOTE: this will be the food pantry's permanent location going forward]
Organized by Central New Mexico Labor Council
For more info:
Contact Mike Swisher at [email protected]

Got union news?
Submit it to [email protected].