December 2016 Newsletter

"Solidarity with our Community" Holiday Party, December 18

hat: NMFL's annual holiday party
When: Sunday, December 18, 2 pm 
Where: Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe

Please join us and our partner Somos Un Pueblo Unido for Christmas cheer. We'll be distributing toys for kids and gift cards for families in need—if you can, bring a new toy to put under our tree. Food will be union-catered by IATSE 480.

A Celtic Christmas, December 17

IATSE 480's annual charity event, "A Celtic Christmas" (followed by "A Cowboy Christmas" 6 to 10 pm)
When: Saturday, December 17, 2 to 4 pm
Where: Scottish Rite Temple, 463 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe
Cost: $20 general, $15 balcony, $30 preferred seating ("Cowboy Christmas" tickets are free with "Celtic Christmas" general or preferred seating ticket purchase or for a $20 standalone fee)
For tickets: Contact the Lensic Box Office at (505) 988-1234 or Proceeds to benefit the Scottish Rite Temple.

All-Union Pre-Legislative Meeting, January 9

A meeting of the NM labor community to address legislative issues
When: Monday, January 9, 5:30 pm
Where: Local 412 Union Hall, 510 San Pedro NE, Albuquerque
Hosted by: Local 412
For more information: Contact Mike Archuleta at (505) 490-9894

There will be open discussion about how to create more solidarity during the 2017 New Mexico legislative session. No RSVP required.

Trump's Labor Secretary Pick Signals War on Unions

by Ted Hesson for Politico

The war between Donald Trump and the nation’s labor unions is on. Labor leaders, who spent almost $100 million campaigning against Trump, said after the election they’d give him a chance to deliver on his pro-worker agenda. But the cease-fire eroded in the last two days.

First, Trump blasted an Indiana union boss personally on Twitter, prompting a blistering response from labor leaders. Then he announced his choice for secretary of the Department of Labor is fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, a union critic who’s even floated the idea of automating his restaurants to avoid worker costs.

Click HERE for full article.

AFSCME Reaches First Contracts for Three New Units

from AFSCME Council 18

Congratulations to three new AFSCME Council 18 local unions, which have just reached agreements with their respective employers on a first contract! The three new locals are:Sandoval County Detention Officers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1873 (pictured below) Emergency Medical Service Workers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1272, with Superior Ambulance in Chaves County , and Gila Regional Medical Center Emergency Medical Service Workers’ Union / AFSCME Local 360, in Grant County.

Click HERE for full article.

Santa Fe Hotel Workers File Multiple Wage Theft Complaints

from Somos Un Pueblo Unido

On November 21, three hotel workers at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel filed wage theft complaints with the City of Santa Fe alleging that their employer violated the city's "living wage" ordinance by requiring them to work off the clock, manipulating their time sheets, and paying them less than $10.91.

"Hotel management would make us clean 23 rooms in a 7 hour period, insult us if we couldn't finish the work in time, and then not pay us for all of our hours," said Elizabeth Ortega, mother of three children and a member of the Courtyard Marriott Hotel Worker's Committee. In total, the complaints add up to about $3,000 in unpaid wages.

"When we complained to management about the stolen wages and excessive workload, we immediately saw a severe reduction in hours," said Laura Valle, mother of three young boys. The three workers also filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board seeking remedies for the retaliation.  

Stay in a Fair Hotel This Holiday Season and Support Working Families

by Kenneth Quinnell for AFL-CIO Now

The holiday season is one of the most travel-intense parts of the year, and many people will be visiting and sharing valuable time with loved ones. Your ability to travel and participate in these holiday traditions is, in many ways, a product of the hard work of people who have their own families and holiday traditions to try to enjoy. With our decisions each year, we can go a long way toward not only helping ourselves, but helping those around us, too. One key way to do this is to make sure that when you spend your money, it goes to responsible companies that do the right thing on behalf of their workers.

Click HERE for full article.

Faculty Union Effort Underway at Santa Fe Community College

by T.S. Last for ABQ Journal North

Full-time faculty at Santa Fe Community College are looking to unionize. The faculty filed a petition with the New Mexico Public Employees Labor Relations Board on Friday [December 2], according to a news release issued late Friday afternoon.

Signed authorization cards from faculty members supporting unionization have been collected by a local chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the release says.

Click HERE for full article.

AFSCME Gears Up for Post-Election Battles

from Connie Derr, AFSCME Council 18 Executive Director

Dear AFSCME Sisters and Brothers:

It has been over a month since the local and national elections. New Mexico citizens voted in and, in many cases, returned strong labor candidates to office. Our state is now in a position to lift itself from the bottom of nearly every significant list.

At the national level, we can only speculate if candidate rhetoric to roll back worker rights, wages, and health and safety, to name but a few promises, will become reality. All of us hope that candidate talk is just talk.

Click HERE for full article.

NM ARA's Triennial Convention

from Elva Santos

The NM ARA Triennial Convention was held on Saturday, November 12, and we wish to thank all who helped make it a success.

Many thanks to Jon Hendry and IATSE Local 480 and AFL-CIO for the delicious food provided. We thank UA 412 and Danny Rivera for the beautiful cake. Of course, we're thankful to Carl Condit and IBEW for the use of their great facility, and to IBEW's Jim Moran for facilitating its use. Our thanks to Tom, who so graciously agreed to be our photographer at the last minute. (And, of course, we are thankful to our ARA members who helped in so many ways.)

Elected officials who attended and spoke were the Honorable Daniel Ivey-Soto, Secretary of State elect Maggie Toulouse Oliver, and Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero. We so appreciate their taking time from their busy schedules to honor us with their presence. New NM ARA officers were also elected to serve through 2019 (see photo above).

What Do Trump’s Trade Proposals Mean for New Mexico?

by Joey Peters for NM Political Report

Just months before Donald Trump’s surprise victory to the nation’s top office, Gov. Susana Martinez penned an op-ed about a bright spot in New Mexico’s otherwise weak economy. That bright spot is also a geographical location—the border.

“We are quickly positioning our state as a gateway of international trade throughout the Americas,” Martinez wrote in June, “and we are embracing our newly found leadership role, which wouldn’t be possible without the cross-border relationships we’ve built.”

Click HERE for full article.

Donald Trump vs. Public Schools

by AFT President Randi Weingarten for New York Daily News

Our public schools are the means by which the United States fulfills a collective promise: to take and teach every child seeking an education. While private, religious and charter schools have a place in the educational landscape, this most democratic of promises is unique to public schools.

Obviously, some public schools need improvement. But the vast majority remain the places where we prepare the nation’s young people—rich, poor, native- and foreign-born, and of all abilities—to contribute.

Click HERE for full article.

Rally to Support Santa Fe's Sanctuary Status

On December 14, dozens of community groups and local elected officials held a pro-sanctuary rally in front of City Hall to support immigrant families and Santa Fe's "sanctuary" status in the wake of the Trump election. Groups also rallied to support a proposed resolution that would reaffirm and strengthen Santa Fe's immigrant policies.  

"Since the 1980's, Santa Fe has been a leader in the sanctuary movement standing up for the rights of our immigrant sisters and brothers," said Santa Fe City Councilor Renee Villarreal. "We are well positioned to take it a step further and strengthen our sanctuary status so that immigrants can continue to be able to live and work in a safe environment and continue to make strong contributions to our community and culture."

The resolution was formally introduced by Councilor Villarreal and Councilor Joseph Maestas during that evening's city council session. Issues outlined in the resolution include provisions to increase language access for non-English speaking residents and institute a clearer confidentiality directive to city employees about residents' immigration status. It also advocates city-coordinated community education regarding civil rights to families, youth, business owners, and workers.  

Click HERE to see a fact sheet on the proposed resolution.
Click HERE to see a list of organizations endorsing the resolution.

AFT New Mexico Weighs in on New Mexico's Statewide Election Results

a statement from AFT NM President Stephanie Ly

After two years of Republican control of the New Mexico House of Representatives, voters rejected failed policies like mandatory retention, so-called Right to Work, and the privatization of our schools by returning a majority to pro-public education and pro-labor allies in the Roundhouse. New Mexico Senate Democrats increased their pro-educator, pro-labor majority, and New Mexicans elected a Secretary of State who will bring transparency, openness, and access to our government processes and elections.

Our happiness in these victories, however, is tempered by the loss of Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez. It is shameful Governor Martinez used deceitful methods and outright lies against Senator Sanchez in his campaign, and made his defeat her personal vendetta, instead of working to advance our state. Senator Sanchez was a true friend of education, workers, and all of New Mexico, and his absence is already felt. We want to publicly thank him for years of thankless service to the people of New Mexico, and we will fight to ensure that the values and policies he championed will continue to be at the forefront of our efforts.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to the numerous candidates from AFT NM who stood up and ran for legislative seats in New Mexico. A majority of our candidates won their races, and we are proud to add these voices to our continued fight for strong public education in New Mexico, increased rights for workers, and strong advocacy for respecting all of New Mexico’s diverse communities.

Info Hotline for Two-Tiered Driver's License Law

Call 1-844-365-NMDL (1-844-365-6635) to learn about your rights under the new two-tiered driver's license law and to report any irregularities during your visit to the MVD.

In February, the NM legislature approved House Bill 99, which created a two-tiered driver's license system. In early November, the Martinez administration implemented the new law after spending months misleading New Mexicans about the requirements of the new two-tiered driver's license system.

Click HERE to view the final regulations (starting on page 1018).

That Raise for Overtime Work? Republicans Are Plotting to Take It Away

by Helaine Olen for Slate

It was just this spring that millions of Americans learned they were in for a big raise courtesy of the Obama administration’s long-awaited updating of the federal rules for overtime pay. The threshold for determining whether salaried workers are eligible for automatic time-and-a-half compensation when they work more than 40 hours a week is set to double on Dec. 1 to $47,476, giving a much-needed boost to an estimated 4 million workers.

They can enjoy it while it lasts—if they even receive it at all.

Click HERE for full article.

MONTHLY REMINDER: Mobile Food Pantry, December 30

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

Submit your union news to
[email protected].