Monday, July 23, 2012

Michelle Lujan Grisham Endorsed by New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Democratic Congressional Nominee Michelle Lujan Grisham announced her endorsement by the New Mexico Federal of Labor, AFL-CIO, a coalition of 24 unions representing 25,000 members across the state.

“Michelle Lujan Grisham is the perfect candidate for this critical seat,” said Federation President Jon Hendry. “NM District One was always Republican until Martin Heinrich won it in 2008 and retained it in 2010. Michelle will win the seat with our help and support. With her record of hard work and constituent service she will retain this seat while proudly representing working families.”

Michelle Lujan Grisham said she is especially pleased to earn the AFL-CIO endorsement at the same time that Republicans in Congress are preparing to vote to extend the Bush tax breaks for millionaires.

“I’m proud to stand with New Mexico’s working families, who are struggling to make ends meet while Republicans are cutting taxes for the wealthy,” Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “My priority in Congress will be to rebuild the economy by strengthening the Middle Class.”

New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, which has traditionally been held by Republicans, has earned a spot on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s highly competitive Red-to-Blue program. The DCCC recognizes that Lujan Grisham surpassed demanding fundraising, organizing, and infrastructure goals and skillfully demonstrated to voters that she is a problem-solver who will protect the middle class when elected to Congress.

July 23, 2012 at 07:12 PM in Candidates & Races, Michelle Lujan Grisham, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Unions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

From AFT NM: SusanaPAC is Targeting YOU.

Thumbs_down-11263_200x200This past week many news outlets reported on the PED utilizing government resources to create lists of emails for Governor Martinez's SusanaPAC.

Below is a press release from AFT NM about this heinous targeting of teachers across the state and the blatant usage of Governmental Resources for Political Purposes. American Federation of Teachers Speaks out against Government Resources being used for Political Purposes.

According to a report in the Santa Fe New Mexican, Independent Source PAC unearthed an email exchange between high level PED officials and administrators at the Governor’s Office. As representatives of educational employees across the state, American Federation of Teachers New Mexico is speaking out against the apparent violation of using government resources for political purposes.

Based on the article, the Public Education Department utilized the PED’s Information and Technology Department to create a list of all teacher emails. The IT department then manipulated the list to target non-union teachers.

The lists were sent from the personal email of Larry Behrens, Public Information Officer at the PED, to the personal emails of Jay McCleskey, Political Director of SusanaPAC, Keith Gardner, Chief of Staff at the Governor's Office and Scott Darnell the Director of Communications at the Governor’s Office. In addition the email was sent to Secretary Designate Hannah Skandera and Christine Stavem, the newly resigned Chief of Staff at the PED.

“It is evident that government resources including computers and staff were utilized to pull lists of educational employees for SusanaPAC,” said AFT NM President Stephanie Ly. “Using government resources to develop a targeted list for political purposes is a potential ethical violation.”

The email, sent during work time, contained lists compiled by the PED’s Information and Technology Department, filtering non-union educators from union educators which creates a larger issue for union officials.

“It is never okay for a political organization to request information separating union members from those who are not protected under a collective bargaining agreement. This was a questionable request with questionable intent and conducted in a questionable manner,” said ATF President Ellen Bernstien, “My members are accountable for our actions, and we are holding the governor to the same standards”

Governor Martinez and Secretary Designee Hannah Skandera have continued to push failed Florida Reforms instead of working with educators and community partners to address New Mexico’s education challenges appropriately. This information was requested a month before the primaries on June 5th. In addition contributors to Susana PAC funded Reform for New Mexico which played heavily against AFT endorsed candidates statewide.

June 21, 2012 at 06:02 PM in Susana Martinez, Unions | Permalink | Comments (2)

06/29: NM Political Flag Football Bowl and Brat Sausage Sizzle!

President of NM ALF-CIO, Jon Hendry would like to invite you to their political flag football bowl. It's a flag football game between elected officials & candidates vs. union leaders on Friday June 29th, 6-8p at Phil Chacon Park, 1098 Louisiana SE ABQ, NM 87108.

Football flyer 001

June 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM in 2012 Legislature Races, Candidates & Races, Events, Unions | Permalink | Comments (0)

06/22: Candidates and Communications Workers of America (CWA) Activists Gather to Address Jobs, Outsourcing and Legislative Efforts to Protect Opportunity in New Mexico

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, You say?
On 6/22/2012, T-mobile USA will fire 3,300 workers and close 7 U.S. call centers. Presently, T-mobile outsources 6,000 jobs while waging a sustained battle against U.S. Workers’ efforts to form a union and protect their rights.

Fav old song, great performance! Danny Rivera above sings "Which side are you on?"  2/26/11 at a Rally at the Roundhouse. (dfnm video)

Communications Workers of America –New Mexico is hosting a brief press conference and demonstration in support of Albuquerque T-mobile call center workers and (H.R. 3596).

WHO: CWA, NM Unions, Allied Groups and Candidates
WHAT: Press Conference, Support Demonstration
WHERE: Outside T-Mobile Call Center at 2600 Broadbent Parkway N.E., Albuquerque 
WHEN:  Friday, June 22nd 2012 from Noon-1 pm.
WHY: Solidarity with T-Mobile Employees Efforts to Form a Union and Legislation to Help
Keep Good Jobs at Home in the U.S.A.

Candidates will speak on the subject of JOBS and their visions for creating and retaining good jobs in New Mexico.

Congressman Heinrich co-signed the US Call Center Workers and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3596) to turn the tide on U.S. outsourcing and assaults on Worker and Human Rights.

With the decimation of manufacturing in the U.S., many communities committed millions in taxpayer dollars to fund incentives for companies opening customer service/call center jobs in their communities. However, the last decade has seen a number of those jobs now being shipped overseas, with companies pocketing taxpayer dollars and off-shoring the call center jobs just a few years later; leaving those communities devastated once again with job losses and lost financial investments.

Often, calls into service centers go to countries where workers are exploited and/or human resource and information security practices are far inferior to those in the U.S. These centers are often referred to as modern day sweatshops.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found that 83 percent of Indian outsourcing companies surveyed had information security breaches during the previous year. There is a strong link between overseas call centers and security problems, putting American consumers at risk for identity theft, fraudulent transactions, and general mishandling of sensitive information.

A growing trend for Indian call center companies is to subcontract the call center work out to other politically volatile countries that often times have even worse security protections.

U.S. taxpayer money should not be awarded to companies that make a practice of sending U.S. jobs overseas – resulting in greater job losses here in the U.S., decimate communities, and jeopardize consumers.

This bill, if passed, would accomplish the following things:

• Create a ‘bad actor’ list of U.S. Companies that make a practice of sending U.S. jobs overseas: It would require a publically available list, kept by the Department of Labor, of all employers that relocated entirely or a significant portion of their call center or customer service work overseas. These companies would be ineligible for Federal grants or guaranteed loans. Preference will be given to U.S. employers that do not appear on the list for awarding civilian or defense-related contracts. Employers that relocate a call center will remain on the list for up to 5 years after each instance of relocating a call center.

• Disclose Call Center Location to U.S. Consumers: It would require the relocated overseas call center agent to disclose their name and physical location of their operation. For example, a customer may hear, “Hello, this is Jane in Manila.”

• Right to Transfer: The U.S. consumer would have the right to request the call be transferred to a customer service agent who is physically located in the U.S.

CWA, New Mexico Labor, and Allied Candidates for Office will gather in support of T-Mobile workers and H.R.3596 on Friday, June 22nd, 12 -1 PM outside the T-Mobile Call Center at 2600 Broadbent Parkway N.E., Albuquerque.

June 21, 2012 at 06:56 AM in Events, Jobs, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Unions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

NM AG King Asked To Investigate PED’S Larry Behren's Email to Political Director Jay McCleskey

Using our tax dollars Governor Susana Martinez uses her senior administrative staff in the Public Education Dept. as her own private work force for political gain in the state. Or she is using her political office and our public workers to push her political agenda of busting unions, and blaming teachers and dividing teachers, or worse things like blackmailing the teachers for their own job protection. Anything can be fair game for our Governor Martinez, after all we saw her go after her own Repub. Legislators who did not agree with her fully. So one could expect the same kind of strong arming will go on with the already battered down teachers across the state.

Bear in mind this all comes from a Governor who ran on no corruption and restoring trust in the state government. Attorney General King should pick this matter up and dig into it, there is no automatic entitlement for any elected officials at any level.

ISPAC has broke and researched much of this story, Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican was the first to pick it up, read Steve's article .

Press release below from the Senate Democrats.

Senate Rules Committee Chairman Linda M. Lopez and House Education Committee Chairman Rick Miera have asked Attorney General Gary King to open an investigation into possible violations of the New Mexico Government Conduct Act by high government officials, including the Governor and her top political advisor. The request is in response to an email sent from Public Education Department (PED) spokesman Larry Behren’s private e-mail account to Governor Susana Martinez’ Political Director Jay McCleskey. The e-mail was also sent to the Governor’s Chief of Staff Keith Gardner and her spokesman Scott Darnell, using their private email accounts at the Governor’s Political Action Committee, and copied to PED Secretary designate Hanna Skandera and her Chief of Staff, also on their private e-mail accounts. According to the e-mail, and reports in the Santa Fe New Mexican and Albuquerque Journal, PED’s Information Technology Division and budget staff compiled a list of all New Mexico teachers that contained their e-mail accounts, a list of which school districts have union contracts, and another list of nonunion teachers' emails.

Email ped 001
Email above from Behren to McCleskey

“It is very clear from this e-mail that government employees were ordered to spend their time and state tax dollars on behalf of the Governor’s private political consultant,” said Senate Rules Committee Chairman Linda M. Lopez. “Use of government resources for political purposes is strictly forbidden under the Government Conduct Act.”

“Today we are asking the Attorney General to investigate violations of state law by what can only be described as a Who’s Who of New Mexico’s most powerful government officials,” said House Education Committee Chairman Rick Miera. “The Governor’s creation of a list of union teachers versus non-union teachers, using state resources, is a divisive act that will create discord among our state educators at a time when we should all be working together to improve our educational system.”

“There is no doubt in my mind,” said Senator Lopez, “that these data bases developed by PED employees is intended for the Republican Super PACs, who will use them to anonymously inundate our hardworking educators’ school e-mail accounts with mountains of ugly political spam. We are further asking that Governor Martinez direct her Political Manager to immediately put a halt to this activity.”

Attached is the letter that was sent to Attorney General King.

June 16, 2012 at 06:53 AM in Linda Lopez, Susana Martinez, Transparency, Unions | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

NM-1: National Nurses United Endorses Eric Griego for Congress

From the Griego for Congress Campaign.

Today, Eric Griego for Congress in New Mexico’s First District announced Griego’s endorsement by the National Nurses United (NNU), which represents 155,000 registered nurses throughout the nation.

In a letter to Griego, NNU PAC Chair Carolyn Hietamaki, RN, said: “We believe that you will do an excellent job in representing your district on health, labor, women’s issues, and civil rights, which are important issues to registered nurses.”

“I’m proud of receiving the support of nurses, who work hard to care for patients and heal the sick at our hospitals and nursing homes,” Griego said.  “The nurses agree that we must do more to make quality healthcare more affordable and to fight back against the Republican war on women.”

“I will never waver in my commitment to continue fighting for quality affordable healthcare for all Americans, and fight the Tea Party agenda of cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

Eric Griego supports expanding coverage and reducing the cost of healthcare by allowing every American to be able to enroll in Medicare.  He has also fought to protect Medicaid from funding cuts proposed by Republicans and conservative Democrats in the state legislature.

Eric Griego’s pro-worker record is unmatched in this race.  A proud former member of the American Federation of Government Employees and the American Federation of Teachers, Griego has fought to protect worker rights and to increase the minimum wage.  That is why he is endorsed by most of the labor unions involved in the race.

Eric Griego has been an outspoken leader on protecting women’s rights in the state legislature.  That is why he is endorsed by leading national women’s voice, Dr. Martha Burk, and State Senator Dede Feldman and State Representative Mimi Stewart -- the two respective chairwomen of the state legislature’s committees focused on women’s issues.

Eric Griego is also proud of his support for comprehensive national immigration reform and the Dream Act.

May 2, 2012 at 11:45 AM in Eric Griego, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Unions | |

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Michelle Lujan Grisham Endorsed by Albuquerque Area Fire Fighters, Local 244 of the International Association of Fire Fighters

From Michelle Lujan Grisham Campaign for Congress.

With one week until early voting starts, the Albuquerque Area Fire Fighters officially endorsed Michelle Lujan Grisham in the First Congressional District.

The International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 244 is the third major labor organization to endorse Lujan Grisham, who has the most momentum in the Democratic primary as voters head to the polls.

“Michelle’s strong commitment to first responders and their well being is unmatched in this critical race for Congress,” said Diego Arencón, General President of the IAFF Local 244. “For years Michelle has worked with us on our legislative priorities in keeping firefighters and citizens safe. Her leadership in garnering bipartisan support while not compromising core values is second to none.”

Lujan Grisham was instrumental passing legislation in 2009 that gives firefighters and paramedics disease and cancer presumptions under the workers compensation act of New Mexico. “Michelle’s knowledge and expertise in healthcare is exactly what we need in Congress.”

“I am honored to have the support from the International Association of Fire Fighters, and I look forward to representing their interests in Congress,” Lujan Grisham said. “We are all grateful for fire fighters’ vigilance and their courage on the front lines. I will make sure that all first responders, who put their lives on the line, never have to leave their rights at the door.”

May 1, 2012 at 04:39 PM in Candidates & Races, Michelle Lujan Grisham, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Unions | |

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

AFSCME and Albuquerque Area Firefighters Union Endorse Al Park for Public Regulation Commissioner

Al park at panelAl Park’s campaign for Public Regulation Commissioner is proud to announce it has received the endorsement of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Albuquerque Area Firefighters Union (IAFF Local 244).  “These unions represent thousands of hardworking men and women across the state and I am honored they have endorsed my candidacy” commented Al Park.

Diego Arencón President of the IAFF 244 explained, “Representative Park always made public safety a priority as legislator.” Mr. Arencón continued, “Al really understands the significant role the firefighters and paramedics our union represents play in making New Mexico a safer place”. The PRC oversees the office of the State Fire Marshall as well as other public safety offices such as the Pipeline Safety Bureau.

On AFSCME’s endorsement AFSCME Political/Legislative Director Carter Bundy said, “As a Representative, Al Park was a tireless defender for the hard working men and women of New Mexico and their families.” Al Park helped pass numerous bills in the legislature protecting consumers, increasing funding for education, funding worker retraining programs, and cutting wasteful government spending. Mr. Bundy continued, “The PRC would be lucky to have someone with his drive to make New Mexico a better place for all of us”.

AFSCME is the largest union in the AFL-CIO, and is one of the two largest unions in New Mexico, representing over 15,000 workers in a broad range of occupations including corrections officers, janitors, police officers, nurses, water utility workers, and dozens of other jobs that are crucial to the everyday running of our state and its cities.

April 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races, Unions | |

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Mexico State Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO Endorses Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate

Heinrich profile speakingYesterday, the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO Executive Board voted to endorse Martin Heinrich in his race for U.S. Senate. The NMFL, AFL-CIO is New Mexico’s largest federation of labor organizations representing more than 171,000 union members and their families and 36 unions throughout New Mexico.

In a statement, New Mexico Federation of Labor President Jon Hendry credited Heinrich’s unwavering commitment to fighting for working families as the reason for the endorsement.

“The NMFL, AFL-CIO endorses Martin Heinrich because he is the best person to represent the 171,000 union members and their families in New Mexico who are looking for someone to fight for jobs and stand up for working and middle-class families,” said President Hendry. “We value hard work. Martin comes from a union family and will fight for us and hold corporations and Wall Street bankers accountable.”

“It’s an incredible honor to receive the endorsement of the New Mexico NMFL, AFL-CIO,” said Martin Heinrich. “My dad was an I.B.E.W. lineman and my mother worked in a factory. Growing up, I saw how important organized labor was to my family and the respect that it has brought to working people across this country. I’ll never stop fighting for working families and I look forward to working alongside the NMFL, AFL-CIO in this important campaign.”

Martin Heinrich has received overwhelming support from New Mexico’s labor community but the endorsement of the NMFL, AFL-CIO is the most significant to date. The NMFL, AFL-CIO mobilizes hundreds of volunteers to organize voter registration drives and get-out-the vote campaigns on behalf of their endorsed candidates. For more information on the NMFL, AFL-CIO you can visit

April 20, 2012 at 08:32 AM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Unions | |

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CVNM and Organized Labor Support Eleanor Chavez for Senate District 14!

EleanorCesarChavezAwardI am extremely honored and humbled to have received an endorsement from Conservation Voters New Mexico! I am proud of my record on conservation issues and have introduced legislation as your State Representative to increase transparency and accountability for oil and gas interests in our state.

If I am elected to the New Mexico State Senate, I will continue to stand up to special interests to protect our air, water and land for future generations!

To My Labor Brothers and Sisters….I would also like to send a special thank you to organized labor for their leadership and for their strong support of my campaign! So far, we’ve received official endorsements from:

  • New Mexico Federation of Labor AFL-CIO
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
  • CWA Local 7060 (Communications Workers of America)
  • OPEIU Local 251(Office and Professional Employees International Union)
  • Teamsters Local 492
  • Central New Mexico Labor Council
  • AFSCME Council 18 (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees)
  • New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council
  • IATSE Local 480
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1564 

We must continue to fight for safe and fair working conditions and for the rights of the hardworking men and women across our state. As a union and community organizer, I am committed to carrying a strong labor voice to Santa Fe on behalf of working families.

I want to thank you all again for standing with us through this campaign because we know that we can’t do it alone.

As we get closer to Election Day, I would like to invite you all to get involved by emailing us or contributing online at ACTBLUE: eleanorchavez4senate.

I appreciate your support!

April 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM in 2012 Legislature Races, Candidates & Races, Unions | |

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What if GE Paid Their Fair Share in Taxes?

Just think how the republicans would vote to repeal this unfair tax matter in this state? They would vote NO. Even with the facts displayed so clearly. Even if their own children would have a better life with GE paying their fair share the Republicans in office now in this state would vote NO.

From AFSCME: If GE paid their fair share in taxes (instead of taking advantage of loopholes to pay next to nothing), they would have owed an average of $2.67 billion in federal taxes over the last 10 years according to a report by Citizens for Tax Justice. That amount of revenue could pay the wages for 56,000 fire fighters, or 95,000 school bus drivers, or 56,000 police and sheriff’s patrol officers, or 39,000 registered nurses, or 53,000 librarians, or 107,000 teachers assistants.

AFSCME just launched an info graphic today, which shows what our communities would do with the $2.67 billion dollars that GE is NOT paying in taxes. Take a look at 

April 14, 2012 at 08:54 AM in Corporatism, Economy, Populism, Jobs, Taxes, Unions | |

Friday, March 30, 2012

Op Ed by Hector Balderas; The Legacy of Cesar Chavez Is Our Legacy

Hector balderas pro picOP-ED by Hector Balderas.

This weekend, millions of Americans will pause to reflect and honor the legacy of Cesar Chavez.

Cesar Chavez will always be known as a tireless advocate for the poor and underrepresented.  When he saw an entire group of our society struggle with no one speaking for them, he not only lent his voice, but helped them realize how to make theirs heard.

For most of our nation’s history the migrant workers who picked the lettuce, the peas, the beans, the cherries, and the grapes were paid almost nothing.  They suffered their injustice without hope.  With his nonviolent approach to change, Cesar Chavez led the pickets, the marches, the strikes, and the boycotts until finally farm workers achieved higher wages, better working conditions in the fields, and the right to bargain collectively.

As a leader in the fight for justice for migrant workers, and of the Latino civil rights movement in general, Cesar Chavez helped generations of Latinos in America realize a sense of self-empowerment, whether it was standing up to brutality or simply registering to vote.

Cesar chavezCesar Chavez was guided by a simple principle -- to leave the world a better place than we found it.  He showed us that a single voice can change our country.  And he showed us how strong a people can be when they bind their hearts and efforts together in a sense of community.

The hope and optimism that Cesar Chavez articulated inspired generations after him.  As a young boy growing up in Wagon Mound, my mom and I lived in public housing and survived on Medicaid and food stamps. But even as a boy growing up in family and community that did not have much, I never knew we were poor.  Instead, my mother filled her children with a sense of hope and optimism.  She taught us that with hard work, a strong sense of community, and the willingness to stand up for what is right, the sky was the limit.

Sadly, today there are far too many families in too many New Mexico communities who have lost that sense of hope – who no longer believe that the sky’s the limit.  They worry about a lack of jobs in their communities, whether or not they can pay their mortgage, how they will send their kids to college, or if their kids will even finish high school.  For the first time, they’ve lost hope that their children will have it better off than they did.

And it’s no wonder.  When they look at Washington and see our political and leaders arguing over how big of a tax cut to give the wealthiest among us, people lose hope.

When they look at Wall Street and see that not one single person that caused our nation’s economic crisis has gone to jail or been held accountable, people lose hope.

Cesar Chavez taught us that there’s a better way.  That the only way to strengthen our society is by investing in all our people – not just the most privileged.  By investing in public education, rural infrastructure, and our struggling small business owners, and protecting programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we will not only be helping our most vulnerable, we will be strengthening our entire nation.

As Chavez once said, “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community.  Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

That is a lesson our political and corporate leaders could stand to learn.

But we cannot rely on them.  If there’s anything that Cesar Chavez taught us, it’s that we must take our destiny into our own hands.  Only we can ensure that our voices are heard and that our communities thrive and succeed.

That is what inspired me to enter into public service.  Throughout our entire history as a nation, only seven Latinos have ever been elected to the U.S. Senate.  We need more people from our community to step up and be active, not just by running for office, but by getting engaged in our community, and by using the most simple but powerful weapon we have – our votes.

Even with that, there are many cynics who wonder if we will ever be able to truly bring change, if we are too much of an underdog.  To them, I say that I began every one of my political campaigns as an underdog.  But that’s OK because I’m in good company.  We are a state full of underdogs.

But if there’s one thing that Cesar Chavez taught us – and that history has proven – it is that we as a community, we as a people, and we as a nation are at our strongest when our underdogs make their voices heard.

This weekend, the dream still lives and our hopes continue to sustain us.  Cesar Chavez’s struggle is our struggle, and the struggle ennobles us.  Let us honor him by never losing his sense of abetter world, and let us prove to our mothers that we still believe that the sky’s the limit.

Hector Balderas is New Mexico State Auditor and a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate.

March 30, 2012 at 07:02 PM in Guest Blogger, Hector Balderas, Hispanic Issues, Unions | |