June 2012

Union files against Brooks Brothers in Federal Court

Three weeks ago, we won an arbitration that provided Union rights to employees in new Brooks Brothers stores.  That award is “final and binding”.  But Brooks isn’t living up to its responsibilities.  Instead, it’s making an outrageous attempt to further deny protections and rights to people.

So on June 26th, the NY NJ Regional Joint Board (Local 340) filed a petition in Federal Court.  The petition asks a Judge to confirm our arbitration award.

When we sign a contract, we live up to it.  We have the right to expect the same from Brooks Brothers.  That’s simple respect and we deserve it.

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Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act as fully constitutional.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling moves our nation forward by saving lives and promising every single American a better future.  It is a resounding victory for working people and for the more than 100 million Americans of all political parties, ages, incomes and occupations who are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act.

Today, the court rejected the cynical approach of corporations and Republican extremists who consistently have put profits and politics ahead of working people and whose cold and bitter vision for America is simply that “we are all on our own.”

The decision today is vitally important for working people trapped in the toughest economic crisis in a generation.

Today, the Supreme Court made a decision that now is not the time to slow down the benefits of the law that is making healthcare more affordable.  Now is the time to keep our great nation moving forward.

For more on the Supreme Court decision, see:



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NY NJ Regional Joint Board Members Win a New Contract at Joyce Leslie, Welcome Members at Five Stores in New Jersey

Jade Ferguson at the Rockaway store stands in front of a clothes display.

Jade Ferguson, a new member at the Joyce Leslie store in Rockaway, New Jersey.


NY NJ Regional Joint Board members at Joyce Leslie stores throughout the tri-state area won a new contract last month, preserving hard won benefits and guaranteeing raises for the next three years.  Negotiations were headed up by committee members Billie Kays, Dina Gerace, Reynaldo Ricuarte, and Angel Rivera.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, workers at Joyce Leslie were organizing to form the union at stores where the company had tried to keep the union out.  After months of hard work and organizing, the workers won recognition at five stores and will join their coworkers in benefitting from the new contract.

Welcome new members!  And congratulations to all the Joyce Leslie workers!


Claudia Lopez, a new member at the Joyce Leslie store in Rockaway, holds up her contract and PAC contribution signup sheet.

Claudia Lopez with her new contract at PAC contribution signup sheet.

Alyssa Cromwell holding up a flyer for the May Day march.

Alyssa Cromwell gets ready for May Day at the Joyce Leslie store in Rockaway, New Jersey.


Nicole Cadavid, a new member at the Joyce Leslie store in Rockaway, holds up her PAC contribution sign up sheet.

Nicole Cadavid holding her PAC contribution signup sheet.

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Joint Board Delegates report back from 2012 SEIU Convention

Milagros Penalo stands to report back to the Executive Board after her trip to Denver to attend the SEIU Convention.

Milagros Penalo reports back to the Executive Board.


Talking about the critical fight for working people’s rights, several delegates stood and addressed the Executive Board meeting on Wednesday night.  They reported on their experiences at the most recent SEIU convention.

We learned not only is Wells Fargo amassing huge profits, they are refusing to let workers send money home to relatives in Somalia.  Union organizers at Coca Cola are being murdered in Columbia.  That janitors in Houston, Denver and LA had hunger strikes just to win the right to a union. (see links below)

Through all of it, we took home that we are in the fight for our lives together.

We are the 99 percent, whose rights are being stripped away every day for the benefit of the super, super rich. We came home even more committed to standing with our allies, other unions, and each other to we win fair conditions for all of us.


Minerva Javier stands up to report back to the Executive Board after her trip to the SEIU Convention in Denver.

Minerva Javier reports back.

Michael McGonagle stands up to report back to the Executive Board after his trip to the SEIU Convention in Denver.

Michael McGonagle reports back.

Bill Osbourne stands up to report back from his trip to the SEIU Convention in Denver.

Bill Osbourne reports back.


Venus Smith stands to report back from the SEIU Convention.

Venus Smith reports back.

On Wells Fargo’s refusal to provide services to Somalian families and the solidarity actions organized by Minnesotans for a fair economy see:


On the murder of 2,886 unionists in Colombia since 1986, see:

On the janitors’ struggle, see:

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Amco Workers Win New Contract

NYNJ Regional Joint Board members of Local 132 who work at Amco Polymers in Farmingdale, NY (Long Island) ratified a new 3 year contract this week.  Congratulations to our fellow Joint Board members on preserving and improving their holiday pay, vacation benefits, and winning wage increases!

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Announcing the Winners of the 2012 Clothing Manufacturers’ Scholarship

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2012 Clothing Manufacturers’ Scholarship and their parents.

1.    Student: Michelle P. Agudelo
Parent: Luz M. Aguirre, Local 340A (Alfred Dunner)

2.     Student: Ana Alava
Parent: Jose Alava, Local 250C (MANE Enterprises)

3.    Student: Andreina Borges
Parent: Margarita Barias, Local 250C (MANE Enterprises)

4.    Student: Julia Jade Capello
Parent: Aldo Capello, Local 63 (Martin Greenfield)

5.    Student: Xiaolin Chen
Parent: Jinglun Gong, Local 25 (Burberry)

6.    Student: Eddie Cruz-Desintonio
Parent: Jenny Desintonio, Local 63 (Martin Greenfield)

7.    Student: Jhofry Rodriguez
Parent: Laura Altomirano, Local 25 (Brooks Brothers)

8.    Student: Marissa Wong
Parent: Mark A. Wong, Local 25 (Brooks Brothers)

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Congratulations to Every Brooks Brothers Union Member!

An arbitrator released an important victory for all of us today.  He determined that Brooks Brothers had very clearly violated our contract by denying employees union membership.

Brooks actions recently have seemed like an attempt to undermine employees’ power.  They’ve been trying to prevent some workers from having the rights, privileges and strength of a united union.  They’ve tried to deny employees their contractually earned benefits.  They’ve tried to divide us.  It won’t work.  Today, an arbitrator ruled that Brooks Brothers was completely wrong.

The arbitrator writes: “Article I, Section A mandates that the Union be recognized as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for any retail stores opened during the term of this agreement under the name ‘Brooks Brothers’ in the city of New York and the Counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester only. This clearly defined obligation is unconditional and unambiguous.”

Together we welcome every new member at Brooks.  We hope that the company will respect the arbitrator’s decision and immediately negotiate the outstanding terms of an agreement that every Brooks member deserves.  Congratulations to everyone!

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