NEWS RELEASE: LABOR AND COMMUNITY RALLY FOR WASHINGTONVILLE DPW
Union workers and members of the Washingtonville community rallied outside the Washingtonville Village Hall prior to Monday's village board meeting to demand a contract for the village's Department of Public Works employees. The DPW workers have been without a contract for two years.
“The Department of Public Works employees are as important to public safety in Washingtonville as members of the Police force. DPW workers are out on the streets when the weather is at its worst so that residents can travel safely. They deserve the security of a fair contract so they can work knowing the wages and benefits their families rely on are secure. Two years without a contract is too long!” said Adrian Huff, Secretary Treasurer of Teamsters 445.
“After nearly two years of negotiations and mediation – we believed we had reached contract that both parties agreed upon. However, Trustee’s Dave Heintz, Joe Galante, and Jackie Pollman apparently did not see it that way. What has happened here, is that the Union negotiated in good faith, and the employer has chosen to put the DPW workers in the middle of an internal power struggle between the Mayor, Kevin Hudson, and select members of the Board. The Village of Washingtonville needs to remember who came to aid during the recent ravaging floods, and the devastating snow storms of 2010 and 2011. These dedicated DPW employees are here to serve the public, when conditions are at their worst. Now these workers need support from the residents of the Village of Washingtonville, as their working conditions are in peril,” said Sandy Shaddock, Business Agent for Teamsters Local 445.
“We are here today on behalf of the 100,000 union families in the Hudson Valley to show our solidarity with the workers at the Washingtonville DPW. Day in and day out, in good weather and bad, workers from the Washingtonville DPW have been serving the community. They deserve a contract—after two years of working without a contract they should not have to wait another day,” said Beth Soto, Director of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation.
“The right wing is trying to pit worker against worker. We're here to say that we will not be divided—labor stands for all who work! DPW employees might not be corporate lawyers, hedge fund managers or business executives, but they do what needs to be done every day. They deserve to be treated with respect and after two years of waiting, they deserve a contract,” said John O'Malley, President of the Hudson Catskill Central Labor Council.