2016 Evening with Labor
OUTSTANDING TRADE UNIONIST OF THE YEAR: Carl Goldman
Carl Goldman started his work in the labor movement over 40 years ago as a DC taxi driver attempting to organize his workplace. He's since organized thousands of federal workers, serving since 1989 as the Executive Director of AFSCME Council 26, which had 7 locals when he began and now has 17. A longtime member – 20 years this year -- of the Executive Board of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO, Carl has been an enthusiastic and outspoken supporter of the Council's efforts, urging the participation and active involvement of Council 26's locals and membership.
Other highlights of Carl's career include developing effective internal and external rank-and-file organizing committees: there have been 24 successful organizing drives under his direction, which won Council 26 the Metro Council's organizing award in 1998, 2000 and 2011. He also worked closely with AFSCME Local 658 in an internal organizing drive that won it the organizing award in 2015. Council 26 won the Metro Council's Golden Picket Sign award in 2004 and during the historic 2013 government shutdown, Council 26 helped lead the way in organizing and participating in creative actions to highlight the key role government workers play in our community.
Carl has long supported the Community Services Agency by doing an annual email letter with CSA flyer to all members during the Combined Federal Campaign, providing representation by members on the CSA board, and supporting the Emergency Assistance Fund. In the late 1970’s, he worked as the community liaison in Prince George's County for the CSA’s prior incarnation, and helped people with unemployment issues and accessing services when they were out on strikes.
A lifelong Washingtonian, Carl has been extremely active in the local community, helping his union and the Metro Council build and strengthen the bonds between labor and community allies.
photo by Chris Garlock/Union City
COMMUNITY SERVICES AWARD: Jim Griffin
Jim Griffin has been a committed board member of the Community Services Agency for several years. Since coming on the board, Jim (with ball) has ensured that his local, IBEW 1900, has supported Agency fundraisers, made contributions to the Emergency Assistance Fund, and spread the word to members about the Agency and its services. He has paid for a mailing each fall to all of his members encouraging their financial support during the United Way employee giving campaign at the local’s shops, and he has made sure the employers have included CSA in kick-off events with employees. He is currently working with CSA to help pipeline CSA’s Building Futures construction pre-apprenticeship program graduates into good union jobs at PEPCO. Jim and Local 1900 truly live “Labor Cares- Labor Shares.”
photo: Griffin with the IBEW 1900 teams at this year's CSA Bowling for Gold tournament; Chris Garlock/Union City
COPE AWARDS: Herbert Harris and Dyana Forester
Maryland: Herbert Harris, BLET/IBT: While Herbert (right) is a new delegate to the Labor Council from BLET/IBT, he’s a long-time face and friend of ours. Aside from working with the labor council to advance the critical Rail Safely and Security Act of 2016, Herbert has been a consistent participant in DC COPE meetings – assisting in the chairing of a candidate endorsement session in 2016 – and has also support and attended other COPE activities including GOTV efforts in Northern Virginia and in the Tri-County area of Southern Maryland.
DC: Dyana Forester, UFCW 400: A dedicated labor leader with UFCW 400, Dyana (above left) has continuously attended and participated in COPE activities in both DC and MD. She was a key leader in the fights to raise D.C.’s minimum wage to $15/hr and worked tirelessly to get the D.C. Council to pass a strong and pro-worker paid family leave policy at the end of 2015. Dyana is committed to mobilizing staff and workplace leaders to canvasses and engage in the political process, and has shown a strong commitment to hosting and supporting the development of our Prince George’s/Montgomery County COPE committee.
GOLDEN PICKET AWARD: CWA Locals 2107, 2108, 2222, 2300, 2336
During the historic 45-day Verizon strike that saw nearly 40,000 union members walk off the job across the Eastern Seaboard, these locals mobilized throughout the metro-area community. Working through the Metro Washington Council they worked with community and religious allies as well as Council affiliates to boost walking of picketing lines and adopting of picketing on specific days and times. By taking a strong stand against injustice, these locals led by example and inspired the entire local labor movement. Special thanks to the following locals which adopted Verizon pickets: ATU 689, NNU, SEIU 32BJ, UFCW 400, UNITE HERE 25.
ORGANIZING AWARD: AFSCME 1959
Led by president Corey Upchurch, this local organized 1,149 members out of 1,200 eligible workers at the DC Public Schools Transportation Department, where they safely transport DC students to and from schools each day. This effective internal organizing campaign has won Corey (left, in green) and his local the admiration and appreciation of his union and indeed of all public sector unions as they face renewed attacks by anti-union forces.
OUTSTANDING ALLY: Jews United for Justice
This longtime community ally really stepped up for the local labor movement in 2016, spearheading the campaign that will make Paid Family and Medical Leave a reality for half a million workers in DC. JUFJ also continued to deliver on their usual wide-ranging agenda of political work with labor throughout the year, including supporting striking Verizon workers for the duration of the strike. The annual Labor Seder has become one of the most popular and moving events on the local labor calendar, bringing together the Jewish, activist, labor, and nonprofit communities to celebrate the liberation story of the Exodus and connect it to present-day struggles in our region. Drawing on a tradition of Jewish commitment to justice, JUFJ has been an incredibly effective ally in the community, seeking to repair the world by concentrating on issues of local concern, including paid sick leave and the Fight for $15. photo courtesy JUFJ