This week, Blue Collar Buzz brings you voices of workers fighting to keep their jobs at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, following the administration’s decision to axe more than 100 staffers before Christmas. We also bring you PSC-CUNY faculty & staff on the front lines of their renewed battle for a fair contract. We’ve also got Local 1 Plumber and Mentor Judaline Cassidy talking about her efforts to encourage more young women to enter the trades, as well as labor journalist Doug Cunningham who’s analyzing the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court Case and other big labor stories from 2017.
* Jenny Santiago, Maimonides Transport Orderly
“[Maimonides] laid off 115 people that have family and children — right before the holidays? It’s not fair. We are all in jeopardy. We don’t know if we are safe and have a job tomorrow.”
* Barbara Bowen, PSC-CUNY President
“[The last] contract made some significant advances. It raised salaries. It kept even with inflation. It made some really big gains for professional staff; job security for adjuncts. But it has not restored our salaries to a competitive level. And when salaries at Columbia, Rutgers, Pace, Fordham, Stony Brook are $30,000 or more for a professor — people who teach at CUNY are often finding it hard to stay.”
*Judaline Cassidy, Plumber and Mentor
“Tools & Tiaras is my way of giving back. If more young girls pick up tools, we can change the percentage of women in construction, which has been three-percent since 1970. And that is not good. Being in the trades could change so many women’s lives.”
*Doug Cunningham, Labor Journalist
“Gary Casteel at the UAW says, ‘I don’t know why people are always talking about Right-To-Work being bad for unions — it makes us be more responsive to our members and we can build stronger unions that way in the end.’ So, that’s a silver lining in that dark right-to-work cloud.”
LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” airs every Sunday night on AM970 The Answer from 9 to 10 p.m. This week’s episode, as well as every other episode of LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” is also available on demand at www.am970theanswer.com.