New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO


Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List. Read more >>>

June 24, 2016
For immediate release
contact 505-455-2853


New Mexico Federation of Labor and Allies Celebrate Obama Designation of Stonewall National Monument

The New Mexico Federation of Labor celebrates President Obama’s designation today of the Stonewall National Monument in New York City. In the summer of 1969, it was here that the struggle for LGBTQ equality erupted into a full-blown movement demanding equality and respect. Stonewall symbolizes the beginning of a movement which gave rise to pride day celebrations and helped evolve our country into the more civilized society we continue striving to become today.

The new Stonewall National Monument will protect the area where, on June 28, 1969, a community’s uprising in response to a police raid sparked the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement in the United States.

“This is why we elected this guy. This is why we will miss him,” said Jon Hendry, President of the New Mexico Federation of Labor. “He's the president for all Americans and this monument shows his commitment to inclusivity. Stonewall is for all Americans who believe we must build bridges and not walls, and that we must continue to rise and unite in ways which have impact, especially in the face tragedy. Thanks, Obama!”

"For people outside of the LGBT community, Stonewall is often far too obscure as a moment in American history. But the consequences of what started that day in 1969 are far-reaching and important to all of us, gay or straight. This monument will help ensure that's a lesson millions more Americans have access to, and I'm proud of our President for making it real," said Javier Gonzales, Mayor of City of Santa Fe

New Mexico Labor recognizes that the strongest protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer working people are found in a union contract. Working people in unions have fought hard to make sure that employers cannot discriminate against people. This includes helping pass laws that protect LGBT working people. New Mexico Labor knows discrimination still goes on, and it must be confronted.

“Stonewall isn’t just a bar, it’s a rallying cry for the LGBTQ community. We like to say proudly,’Stonewall was a riot,’ because it was,” said Jerame Davis, Executive Director of Pride at Work, AFL-CIO. “No place is more directly linked to the struggle for LGBTQ liberation than the Stonewall Inn. At a point in history when more than half of states still don’t bar LGBTQ discrimination and 49 people in Orlando gave their lives just for being themselves, I can’t think of a more appropriate and poignant national monument to be dedicated by the President who has done so much to advance LGBTQ freedoms.”

Stonewall has lessons to teach, and as a National Monument, that struggle for equality will have a greater voice to reach all Americans; young, old, and future generations.

“The designation of the Stonewall Inn is timely. Coming so soon after the tragedy in Orlando, and during Pride Month, the Stonewall is a reminder of the continual struggle for full equality for LGBT+ Americans and also a solemn memorial to those who willingly faced persecution in the name of progress for all. It is my fervent hope that the Stonewall will continue to be a beacon for all Americans faced with adversity, and a continual reminder that no matter what, it will get better,” said Stephanie Ly, President, American Federation of Teachers New Mexico.

It is impossible, and likely naive, to try and envision a final victory in the struggle for complete LGBTQ equality. A civilized people must not look upon the struggle for all types of justice as a finite thing or a race to be won. The struggle to overcome is a decision we make each morning, to stand for what is right and just, to be dignified and resilient when confronted by adversity, or too often, tragedy.

The struggle for LGBTQ equality is simply about everyday Americans, our friends, our neighbors, and our co-workers, who deserve to enjoy the same opportunities as everyone else to pursue health and happiness, earn a good living, be safe in their communities, serve their country, and take care of the ones they love.

So while we cannot see the end of this road we travel, we’re heartened by reflecting on its beginnings with 20/20 vision. The Stonewall National Monument wasn’t the only beginning, but it was a pivotal rallying point in the early days of America’s LGBTQ equality movement.

New Mexico is not one of the 29 states where it is legal to fire a worker simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Still, New Mexico has a long way to go to shun antiquated ways of thinking and guarantee full freedom and rights of citizenship to an estimated 50,000 LGBTQ New Mexicans.




Each week, we take a look at the biggest friends and foes of labor. We celebrate the workers winning big and small battles, and we shame the companies or people trying to deny working people their rights. Read more >>>

REMINDER: 2016 NMFL COPE Convention, June 24-25

What: 2016 NMFL COPE Convention
When: June 24-25
Where:  UA 412 Plumber's and Pipefitter's Union Hall, 510 San Pedro Dr. SE, Albuquerque
Cost: $100 delegate fee (unless affiliate pays per capita through the National AFL-CIO program)
Accommodations: Airport Sheraton for $89 a night
Special events include: karaoke, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, 6th Annual Athletic Challenge, whiffle ball against the Democratic Party, and BBQ
For more info, contact: Maxine Velasquez at or 505-507-1483

Somos' Clinic on Worker Rights and Wage Theft, July 14

NMARA Members Stay Involved

by Elva Santos, NM ARA 1st Vice-President

Many thanks from Dennis Conerty, president of CWA Retirees, and John (JD) Doran, president of the New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans, to all those who have responded to our recent calls to action.

First, the call to help our striking Verizon brothers and sisters by demonstrating here in Albuquerque on May 5, 2016, and then by attending with us to Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham's congressional office on May 21, 2016. We are planning additional visits to other congressional offices soon.

We are also making our plans to participate in the Rio Rancho 4th of July Parade, so stay tuned!

We are proud to have our community know that we are active and will continue to act in solidarity with our UNION BROTHERS & SISTERS.

Verizon Victory for CWA

The Verizon strike is over and we won! The working people at Verizon and Verizon Wireless are returning to work knowing that their hard work resulted in big gains and saved good, union jobs.

Supporters came out to picket lines, took action online, and donated tens of thousands of dollars that helped support the working families on strike. We should be proud of what we accomplished together.

AFT President Randi Weingarten Visits Albuquerque

by John Dyrcz, AFT NM Staff

AFT President Randi Weingarten visited New Mexico at the start of GOTV weekend on June 2. Her activities included speaking to AFT NM’s executive council, where she highlighted the need for labor to move forward unified after Tuesday’s primary and work to elect pro-education and pro-labor candidates at all levels.  

Additionally, she spoke one-on-one with leaders from AFT NM locals who serve Native American communities on how AFT can better serve all students equitably. Wrapping up the day, President Weingarten canvassed for two AFT NM candidates: Debbie Sariñana in HD 21 and Sen. Mimi Stewart in SD 17, and headlined a labor for Hillary phone bank at the Clinton Campaign HQ in Albuquerque.

A Closer Look at New Overtime Regulations on Nuestra America

Immigrants' rights organization (and NMFL affiliate) Somos Un Pueblo Unido is at the cutting edge of labor issues, and its director, Marcela Diaz, works tirelessly to inform the public of ALL workers' struggles—immigrant or native-born, in New Mexico and nationwide.

Check out her KSFR radio show, Nuestra America. The Tuesday, May 24, episode features an interview with Judy Contie, federal advocacy coordinator for the National Employment Law Project, who discusses the new overtime regulations recently put forth by the Obama administration.

Remembering Helen Chavez

from UFW

After they were married in 1948, Cesar Chavez would return home after experiencing a fresh injustice toiling in the fields and tell his bride, Helen, “somebody’s got to do something about it.” Helen Chavez nurtured her husband’s dream of organizing farm workers. She and their eight small children gave up a middle class lifestyle in 1962, embracing a life of voluntary poverty to support her husband’s labors.

Click HERE for full article.

Millions More Americans Are About to Be Eligible for Overtime Pay

by Helaine Olen for Slate

Millions of Americans will get a raise beginning Dec. 1, and not because their employers will have a sudden outbreak of Christmas generosity. Rather, it will come courtesy of the Obama administration, which on Tuesday evening released the final version of a long-planned update to the nation’s overtime regulations.

Under the new Department of Labor rules, salaried employees earning less than $47,476 annually will automatically receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week, double the current $23,660 ceiling.

Click HERE for full article.

Patients Are the Health Care System's Free Labor

by Sarah Kliff for Vox

I write a lot about health care for my job here at Vox, and have spent the past seven years covering and explaining the American health care system. But there was something I didn't understand about American health care until this experience.

It is the considerable burden our fragmented system puts on patients to coordinate their own care...

Click HERE for full article.

MONTHLY REMINDER: Mobile Food Pantry, June 24

What: Labor Mobile Food Pantry
When: Friday, June 24, 11 am to 1 pm (volunteers, please come at 10 am)
Where: Parking lot of Sheet Metal Workers, 2300 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque
Who: Organized by Central New Mexico Labor Council
For more info: Contact Mike Swisher at

Got union news ?
Submit it to

Central NM Rank and File Dinner, May 14

What: Central NM Rank and File Dinner
When: Saturday, May 14, 5:45 to 8:30
Where: Local 412, 510 San Pedro SE, Albuquerque
Tickets: $240 per table (seats 8), $35 for individual seats
Make checks payable to: Central New Mexico Labor Council
For questions: contact Robin Gibson at
or (505) 681-1721

24th Annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, May 14

What: Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive
When: Saturday, May 14

The 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive provides letter carriers, other postal employees, and thousands of volunteers across the nation the opportunity to join forces in their local communities.

Click HERE for a very detailed FAQ.

2016 NMFL COPE Convention

What: 2016 NMFL COPE Convention
When: June 24-25
Where:  UA 412 Plumber's and Pipefitter's Union Hall, 510 San Pedro Dr. SE, Albuquerque
Cost: $100 delegate fee (unless affiliate pays per capita through the National AFL-CIO program)
Accommodations: Airport Sheraton for $89 a night
Special events include: karaoke, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, 6th Annual Athletic Challenge, whiffle ball against the Democratic Party, and BBQ
For more info, contact: Maxine Velasquez at or 505-507-1483

Read more >>>

Good from Bad Water

Union members have been helping out Flint, Michigan, residents during its water crisis. Read the full article>>>

Wage Theft Seminar, November 18

What: Wage Theft Seminar
When: Wednesday, November 18, 5 to 8 pm
Where: United Worker Center of NM at Somos Un Pueblo Unido, 1804 Espinacitas St., Santa Fe
For more information: Call 505-983-6247 or 505-424-7832

CWA Local 7076 Holiday Food Drive

CWA 7076 is operating a non-perishable food drive for the holidays, coordinating the collection and distribution of donations to food banks in Albuquerque metro, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces areas on a ongoing basis through Wednesday, December 16.

These designated coordinators will collect items from stewards/work sites and drop them off at local food banks and/or homeless shelters:

Albuquerque: Liza Smith, 505-307-5920,
Las Cruces:
Dave Brunson, 575-621-9703,
Santa Fe:
Danial Degarmo, 505-629-5356,
Toby Tafoya, 505-712-3456,

Members can take their donations to work and leave with any officer or steward. If needed, coordinators can do weekly pick-ups. In Santa Fe, members are welcome to drop off donations directly at the CWA 7076 Hall, 460 St. Michael’s Drive, Suite 1001, Santa Fe.

Volunteers Needed for Tax Help NM

by Mike Swisher

Tax Help NM is a highly successful asset-building program that continues to exceed previous results annually. The program has returned more than $80 million in tax refunds and saved the people of New Mexico over $16 million in tax preparation fees.

A key strategy to increasing the economic success of low-income working families is to help families access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other tax credits that will boost their income, help them reduce their debt, increase their savings, and/or purchase an asset.

If you are interested in volunteering as a tax preparer or a greeter, please contact Mike Swisher:, (505-245-1720) or Jeffrey Ledbetter:, (505-247-3671). Training is provided.

Nurses Cry Foul On UNM Hospital Policies

from KUNM

Some of the nurses at the University of New Mexico Hospital say they are understaffed, overworked, and overlooked by the hospital’s management.

At a press conference in front of UNM Hospital....


Read more >>>

 A Moral Monday documentary from Santa Fe, New Mexico by Mariana Nonino

READ more....


Read more >>>

The New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO represents more than 110,000 members of 30 unions and community affiliates throughout New Mexico.  The mission of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, is to improve the lives of working families:to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation. Read more >>>

Follow Us!

New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO Logo

Sign Up
Remember me