PEEKSKILL, NY — September 21, 2020 — In a massive show of support, New York State Senator Pete Harckham received endorsements today for his re-election from the New York State AFL-CIO and a number of other labor unions and labor groups during a rally held here at the United Association (UA) Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 21.
Surrounded by leaders and representatives from nearly two dozen labor groups, Harckham thanked everyone for their remarkable efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, and pledged his commitment to furthering the cause of union workers when he returns to the Senate.
“I grew up in a labor family and saw how union jobs were the backbone of the middle class,” said Harckham. “With growing wage-disparity we need the union movement now more than ever.”
“During the pandemic,” continued Harckham, “all of you were the essential workers who kept our society running—healthcare, transportation, education, government, construction, service employees and communications. You couldn’t Zoom it in, you had to show up. All of you are heroes and deserve our praise. But more importantly, you deserve our support to continue to build and defend the American Dream for millions of New Yorkers, and I pledge my continuing support to you all.”
Led by Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, speakers were uniform in their praise of Harckham. Thomas Carey, president of the Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body and business agent for UA Local 21, hosted the event.
“Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, said, “The New York State AFL-CIO proudly supports Pete Harckham for State Senate. Pete has been a fierce advocate for workers and the communities impacted by the Indian Point closure. He has sponsored legislation to ensure the state keeps the current workforce at the nuclear power plant for the decommissioning of the facility and has fought for funding for communities impacted by the closure. He continues to fight to help workers and their families who were stricken by the coronavirus. His commitment to working people is why we are engaged in a grassroots campaign with our union brothers and sisters in the 40th Senate District to ensure a victory for Pete Harckham on election day.”
Thomas Carey, president of the Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body and business agent for UA Local 21, added, “I applaud senator Harckham for his efforts to support the working men and women of labor. His advocacy of those impacted by Indian Point closing shows just how much he cares about the people who live and work in this community.”
Kevin Sheil, president of CWA Local 1103, said, “The Communications Workers of America Local 1103 is proud to endorse the re-election of Pete Harckham to the New York Senate. We have a long history of working together with Pete for the betterment of working families, as both a Westchester County Legislator and State Senator. He has walked our picket lines and raised his voice to powerful corporate CEOs in support of fair contracts for our members.
Sheil continued, “Pete supported our recent Union organizing campaign in Westchester and stood with workers fighting for, and winning, their first contract. He has sided with CWA in petitioning the Public Service Commission to re-examine the role de-regulation has had on workers and service. And most importantly, as a State Senator in his first term, he has worked to pass legislation like the Save New York Call Center Jobs Act and the Broadband Data Collection and Mapping Act. This is legislation that will protect and even grow jobs in the telecommunication field in New York. For these reasons, CWA Local 1103 is proud to endorse Pete Harckham for re-election in the 40th Senate District.”
32BJ SEIU President Kyle Bragg said, “Our members are proud to stand behind candidates like Pete Harckham, public servants who have proven their commitment to fighting for issues that will make our communities stronger and that will improve the lives of working people in New York, including winning healthcare for airport workers in the New York State legislature and other needed reforms to advance economic, immigrant, racial and climate justice. Time and again, Pete Harckham has championed these issues and delivered results. We are proud to endorse him for re-election so that he can continue this critical work in the 40th Senate district and in Albany.”
UAW Regional Director Beverley Brakeman said, “The United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers, Region 9A (UAW) proudly endorses Pete Harckham for New York State Senate.Throughout his career Pete has worked with numerous community organizations creating affordable housing, supporting education for underserved communities and protecting the environment. In Albany, he has focused much of his attention on the opioid crisis as chair of the committee tasked with this daunting responsibility. It is essential that we keep the Democratic majority in the State Senate to continue passing progressive legislation that helps all New Yorkers. Pete is fighting for an America for all of us and the UAW enthusiastically backs his candidacy.”
Joe Karas, council representative, North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters Local 279, which represents about 2,300 carpenters in the Hudson Valley, said, “I am very proud to stand here today and announce our support to our friend, Senator Pete Harckham, in his bid for re-election. In his two short years as State Senator, Pete has already proven his commitment to organized labor in the construction industry by helping to expand prevailing wages in New York State. We look forward to continuing our partnership to better the lives of union carpenters and their families to earn a fair wage, to have a safe work place and the ability to retire with dignity. Thank you, Senator—let’s get to work.”
New York State Nursing Association President Judy Sheridan Gonzalez, RN, said, “NYSNA is proud to endorse Senator Pete Harckham for re-election in State Senate District 40. We need leaders like Senator Harckham to continue advocating for safe staffing ratios, a fair contract and worker protections, and a fair state budget where the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share. Throughout the pandemic, he has joined alongside Covid-19 nurse heroes at NYP-Hudson Valley Hospital who have been fighting for a fair contract for nearly two years. Senator Harckham has stood on the side of nurses, their patients, and their families and we know he will keep up the fight.”
CSEA Southern Region President Anthony Adamo said, “Harckham, in his first term, has consistently advocated for the union’s members, standing with CSEA on important issues within the Office of Mental Health, ensuring frontline responders to Covid-19 have proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and working to protect the integrity of the state pension fund.
Senator Harckham has a diverse résumé of experience at the county and state level, as well as in the private sector, which makes him the clear choice for CSEA. At this uncertain time in our state and nation, we need to keep Pete’s qualified hands at the wheel.”
New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) President Andy Pallotta said, “Now more than ever we need elected officials who will support public education and health care, and Senator Harckham has done just that. We are proud to endorse him for re-election, and look forward to working with him and his colleagues in the Senate Majority for the next two years, as we advocate for high-quality public schools, colleges and hospitals for every New Yorker.”
Jeff Loughlin, business manager, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 137, said, “The economic environment right now in this country poses big challenges to workers, union and non-union alike, which is why it so important to have a strong supporter like Pete Harckham on your side. He never hesitates to listen to our concerns, and he always finds a way to help. His protection of workers at Indian Point, with decommissioning in progress, shows that he understands that fair, living wages keep families together and strengthen our communities.”
Maurice Brown, political director, Hudson Valley/Capital Region, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, said, “1199SEIU members are proud to support Senator Harckham for re-election. His record in the New York State Senate proves that he understands how important it is to protect our community’s hospitals and nursing homes from the devastating budget cuts that we are facing. We look forward to our continued work together ensuring that anyone who needs health care can receive it in the location of their choosing, safely and with dignity, supported by caregivers who are treated fairly. Pete Harckham knows that is the way to honor the tens of thousands of patients and caregivers who have already lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic and who care for our communities, every day.”
New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) President Wayne Spence, said, “PEF members are proud to endorse Senator Peter Harckham for re-election. As chair of the Substance Abuse Committee, Senator Harckham has fought for expanded state services at OASAS and OMH facilities in the wake of the opioid crisis. And he’s been an ally PEF can count on to stand up for protecting essential workers during this pandemic.”
Among the other labor unions and groups that endorsed Harckham at the event were: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Teamsters, New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) and Westchester Putnam Building and Construction Trades Council.
NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento; State Sen. Pete Harckham; group picture with banner)
New York’s 40th District includes the towns of Beekman, Pawling and the village of Pawling in Dutchess County; the towns of Carmel, Patterson and Southeast, and the village of Brewster in Putnam County; and the city of Peekskill, the towns of Cortlandt, Lewisboro, Mount Pleasant, New Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers and Yorktown, the town/village of Mount Kisco, and the villages of Briarcliff Manor, Buchanan, Croton-on-Hudson, Pleasantville and Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County.
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SOURCE: Tom Staudter | Director of Communications | Photographer | Office of NYS Senator Pete Harckham (SD-40).