EmblemHealth and LaborPress Honor Heroic Actions of Union Members

On Thursday, September 29, 2016, EmblemHealth and LaborPress honored the achievements of courageous union members at the fifth annual Heroes of Labor Awards. Formed in 2011, the Heroes of Labor Awards spotlights the contributions and courageous acts of those within the New York City labor community. Representing seven different New York City Labor unions, this…

‘Defending Labor is My Life’s Work’

By Steve Wishnia, LaborPress

As the son of a Sicilian hotel worker, Vinny Pitta (pictured above, right) understands the dreams and struggles of immigrant families — and the success he’s achieved thus far in his career is evidence of the power of trade unions to fulfill the American Dream. In his ongoing work with labor, Pitta remains steadfast in ensuring that American ideal continues to inspire generations to come…

Never Abandoning the Fight: School Safety Agents Battle For Equity — and Win!

By Joe Maniscalco, LaborPress

Without the steadfast courage of Corinthians Andrews (pictured above, bottom center), Bernice Christopher (pictured above, right) and Patricia Williams (pictured above, left) — lead plaintiffs in the landmark Equal Pay Act — the gender gap that once marked the lives of 5,000 mostly female school safety agents might never have been shut this past year…

OSA’s Sheila Gorsky: Training Analysts for 30 Years

By Steven Wishnia, LaborPress

Few New Yorkers understand what the city’s staff analysts do. A video filmed in Madison Square Park by the Organization of Staff Analysts (OSA), the union that represents almost 5,000 of them, found a dozen people utterly clueless. One woman guessed they were in-house psychiatrists for stressed-out civil servants…

" I salute Labor for all the great work they do, not only in New York, but across the country. I salute them for the economic development they’re responsible for, for all the jobs. They are the economic engine and the backbone of New York City. "Letitia James, Public Advocate for the City of New York

The Right Man for This Heavy-Duty Teaching Job

By Joe Maniscalco, LaborPress

Teaching the next generation of heavy equipment operators how to safely and effectively operate the multi-ton behemoths currently reshaping the city on construction sites throughout town is an awesome responsibility — but IUOE Local 15’s Patrick Peterson (pictured above, right) couldn’t be more well-suited for the job…

UFCW Local 2013 — Rising Out Of the Ashes of 348-S

By Joe Maniscalco, LaborPress

Three years ago, when Louis Mark Carotenuto first came to the union that would become Local 2013, he found the group’s 430 preexisting contracts in complete and utter disarray. Some of the 15,000 members hadn’t seen a representative in so long, they had no idea they even had a union representing them…

The Traffic Agents Who Nabbed a Hit-Run Driver

By Steven Wishnia, LaborPress

In the afternoon rush hour on June 4, Traffic Enforcement Agents Christina Drayton and Raheem Harris (pictured above, center) were coming back from a routine shift in Co-op City. They’d been keeping intersections and crosswalks clear, as part of the Vision Zero program, and were on their way to pick up other agents and bring them back to the office. They were waiting at a red light in the Pelham Bay section…

Local 94’s Bill Caramico: Educating for a Union Future

By Steven Wishnia, LaborPress

“I’m not a labor hero,” insists William Caramico (pictured above) of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 94. “I’m telling the stories of the true labor heroes.” Caramico, 61, a mechanic and shop steward at the New York Post printing plant, teaches classes on labor history to new Local 94 members as part of their three-year technical training program. He brings a lot of passion and fervor to it…

Evet Stephens Made History

By Joe Maniscalco, LaborPress

The last thing Evet Stephen’s (pictured above, right) parents wanted for their daughter back in 1987 was for her to become an operating engineer. But that’s exactly what the former National Guard member did, becoming IUOE Local 14-14bB’s first African-American female member upon leaving the military and completing the union’s rigorous four-and-a-half year Apprenticeship Program…

Iraq Veteran, Honored Ironworker: Roberto LeFurgy

By Joe Maniscalco, LaborPress

Four years ago, Local 361 apprentice Rob LeFurgy (pictured above, center) wasn’t even sure what an ironworker did. All the decorated Iraqi war veteran knew for certain was that he sorely missed the brotherhood and sense of higher purpose he had known serving in the U.S. Army. Becoming an ironworker, however, has gone a long way to satisfying those intense feelings of longing and restoring the 28-year-old Oakdale, Long Island resident’s hope in a brighter future…

Paying Tribute to the Heroes of Labor

By Karen Ignagni
President and CEO, EmblemHealth

Every year, the men and women who work at EmblemHealth look forward to partnering with LaborPress to present the Heroes of Labor awards. This year, I am honored to join my colleagues in paying tribute to the brave, imaginative and pathbreaking union members who keep us safe, make our lives better, and are role models for our children…