New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO


READ ENTIRE 10/2015 Newsletter HERE


Open Nominations for NNM CLC  Secretary/Treasurer and Trustee Through November 4

What: Nomination for Secretary/Treasurer and Trustee for Northern New Mexico CLC
When: Through November 4
Contact: Tirzio Lopez, to submit nomination

Affiliate unions that are current with their per capita NNM CLC dues may submit nominations for the vacant Secretary/Treasurer and Trustee positions to President Tirzio Lopez by email up to the close of nominations on November 4 by 6 pm. Nominations may also be submitted at the November 4 monthly NNM CLC meeting, 6 pm, at Santa Fe's Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Road. The vote will be held during that meeting.

"Heat's On" for Low-Income Albuquerque Seniors

from Mike Swisher, AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison

Heat's On is a joint program of the United Association Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 412 and AFL-CIO Community Services program at the United Way of Central New Mexico. They service furnaces, winterize swamp coolers, and install smoke alarms for low-income seniors. This year they serviced 50 homes using 62 volunteers from Local 412, who deserve a big thanks for their assistance.

Heat's On is a one-day event that Local 412 has been doing 20-plus years, held on the last Saturday of September. The program's clients are identified and screened by the Office of Senior Affairs at the City of Albuquerque.

1199's New Service and Maintenance Contract

from AFSCME 1199

AFSCME 1199 has some great news—this year we didn’t have to walk the pavement! The District 1199 NM service and maintenance bargaining team has worked hard with Christus, and we have a new SMU contract.

The ratification vote was recently held with overwhelming support. Wage increases, incentives, upgrades, bonuses ... the District 1199 NM bargaining team of members negotiated a very good contract with:
-Pay increases
-An upgrade to the pay range scale
-Incentives for advancement
-Plus a 2% across the board base rate increase
-Some educational financial opportunities
-1% increase if patient satisfaction scores are met
-Ratification bonus for full-time members $200 and part-time member $100

District 1199 NM is proving to all employees that by working together in a democratic process, working families can succeed in gaining a better working environment and better compensation.

Horseman’s Haven Ordered to Pay Cook $2K for Slashing His Hours After Wage Complaint

by Uriel J. Garcia for The New Mexican

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered Horseman’s Haven Café, a New Mexican restaurant on Cerrillos Road, to pay one of its cooks about $2,000 in back wages.

The worker and immigrant rights group Somos Un Pueblo Unido said Friday that the board had awarded the payment earlier last week to Jose Valtierrez-Villa.

Click HERE for full article.

AFSCME Workers at New Mexico State Psychiatric Hospital Launch Petition Demanding Plan of Action to Address Grave Safety Concerns

from AFSCME Council 18

Las Vegas Behavioral Health Institute (NMBHI) employees gathered at their union hall Wednesday for the second time in a month demanding attention to 30% vacancy levels at NMBHI and associated safety and client service concerns resulting from the regiment of crippling overtime.

NMBHI is the state’s main psychiatric hospital where employees care for over 300 New Mexico citizens requiring all types of psychiatric care; including forensic division for felony offenders, adult and adolescent psychiatric care, life-long term care, and community based services.

Click HERE for full article and to sign petition.

Governor Martinez Takes Labor Fight to U.S. Supreme Court

by Dan Boyd for the Albuquerque Journal

Just months after a legislative attempt to overhaul New Mexico’s labor laws was derailed, Gov. Susana Martinez is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a previous ruling that allows public sector unions in roughly 20 states—including New Mexico—to collect “fair-share” fees from employees who decide not to become union members.

In an 18-page brief filed last month with the Supreme Court, Martinez argued the mandatory representation fees violate employees’ constitutional free-speech rights.

Click HERE for full article.

Workers Bring Their Voices to the White House

by Sonia Huq for AFL-CIO NOW

The first-ever White House Summit on Worker Voice was held this week [week of October 5]—“to explore ways to ensure that middle-class Americans are sharing in the benefits of the broad-based economic growth they are helping to create.” Yes, all working people need a voice on the job.

At the summit, 200 workers, organizers, elected leaders and a handful of business representatives gathered at the White House to talk about unions, worker centers, policy ideas and business strategies to ensure that working people’s voices are being heard.

Click HERE for full article.

Read more >>>

100 Women, 100 Miles, One Voice

One hundred immigrant women walked 100 miles to welcome Pope Francis and remind the whole world of the importance of immigrant work, and working people in the labor movement joined them. Read the full article>>>

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

We Gotta Keep the Band Together, Man! [MOVIE!]

New Mexico’s labor movement and progressive allies quietly unified during the state’s 2015 legislative session and pushed back against Governor Martinez’s extreme right-wing agenda, widely perceived as an attack on social, economic, and environmental justice issues.

Republicans wrestled away control of the NM House of Representatives from Democrats after the 2014 election for the first time in over 60 years. To blame was a combination of superior campaign fund raising efforts by Republicans and the Democratic party’s failure to connect with voters on populist issues or generate enough enthusiasm for voter turnout.

The enthusiasm gap was closed early on in the session as Labor and progressive allies closed ranks and mobilized an effective response to the GOP agenda which stood on four main pillars:

1. Attack workers’ rights through proposal of several pieces of right-to-work legislation;

2. Further corporatizing public education by championing scientifically flawed teacher evaluation systems, mandatory third grade flunking bills, and standardized testing on steroids;

3. criminalize entire families and condoning the exploitation of workers by seizing drivers licenses of undocumented immigrants

4. Prioritizing corporate and polluting industry profits over environmental interests

Advocacy groups from every camp (conservation, education, labor, immigrant & social justice) came together and endeavored to remain unified under one tent throughout the entire session.

Alliances were tested when groups differed on strategy or tactics, but disputes were settled and solidarity remained strong throughout thanks to a unified labor movement’s leadership.

Pivotal were Labor’s major field and communications efforts which supported inside political strategy and gave progressive Democratic champions the cover they needed to take difficult and politically charged votes in favor of the people.

At the session’s conclusion, as the dust settled, most every piece of extreme right-wing legislation had been defeated. However, there was no time to celebrate or take down our guard.

The NM Senate, where labor and progressive causes mounted their most staunch defense, is up for reelection in 2016. Only hours after the session ended, the right-wing machine began churning out op/eds and messaged the media about how labor’s progressive Democratic allies had done New Mexico a disservice by killing Governor Martinez’s agenda.

The obvious strategy of Republican Governor Martinez and the GOP will be to unseat the workers’ champions and remove opposition to their anti-everything-but-corporate-profit agenda.

While right-wing talking points and junk science were effectively discredited during the session, the anti-worker propaganda has reemerged stronger in the wake of the session.

It is more important now than ever for labor and progressive allies to remain unified. We must be strategically active and educate voters on our issues to counteract the productive right-wing propaganda machine.


While much of the Internet this week was focused on escaped llamas, figuring out what color a dress is or mourning the loss of SAG-AFTRA member and Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy, we can forget that legislation is still being pushed that would make the lives of working families worse. Whether it is the "right to work" policies pushed by the allies of Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), who likes to compare workers to terrorists, and in other states like New Mexico and West Virginia, or the ongoing negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) using the Fast Track process, we need to stay alert. Read more >>>

Share of Households Earning Middle-Class Income

Income inequality became a hot topic of economic conversation in 2014, and publications like The Atlantic have taken notice. In 17 Things We Learned About the Economy in 2014, the authors explore the growth of low-income jobs, stagnant wages for families and shrinking wages for younger workers, the racial and gender wage gap, taxes and the dwindling middle class.

Read more >>>

It's pretty frustrating seeing all the headlines that claim the economy is alive and kicking. Sure, there is economic growth and a steady increase in jobs, but what kind of jobs are we talking about exactly? Well, they aren't the kind of jobs we think of first when it comes to steady, middle-class jobs. No big surprise here, low-wage service sector jobs like those in the fast-food industry are seeing the biggest gains. Bryce Covert at The New Republic has a nice summary of what America's workers are up against when it comes to wages. Read more >>>

When President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for president, he said: “I am running in this race because of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ Because I believe that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.” Like Dr. King, our president was calling on America to make real the promises of our democracy. That fierce urgency of now is here for thousands of refugee children from Central America. I know many of these kids’ stories because it is my story, too. 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 >>>

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