FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Dustin Langley 917-293-1138
Labor Activists File Suit to Fight McCarthyism in DC1707 AFSCME
Leaders targeted by union executive for fighting against concessions and speaking out against the war
PRESS CONFERENCE Monday, Feb. 14
12 Noon On the steps of U.S. District Court
500 Pearl St.
On Monday, February 14, at 12 Noon, Brenda Stokely, Gloria Jackson, and Chuck Mohan will file suit in U.S. District Court against District Council 1707 and against Raglan George, Jr., Executive Director for violations of the Labor Management Reporting & Disclosure Act of 1959 and the constitution of DC 1707. Jackson and Mohan were fired from their positions with the union just days before Christmas, while they were on vacation, and Stokely was removed from her position in January as president of DC 1707. They allege that they were removed because of their opposition to a flawed day care contract and because they have been outspoken against the occupation of Iraq.
“Raglan George removed us in an attempt to silence rank and file voices in the union,” said Brenda Stokely. “We were removed for opposing a concessionary day care contract. We have also been outspoken in our opposition to the war and occupation in Iraq. All three of us were organizers for the Million Worker March at a time when it was opposed by the AFL-CIO and AFSCME because they wanted to tie everyone to the failed tactics of devoting all of our resources to the Kerry campaign.”
Stokely opposed the firing of Mohan and Jackson, saying that they are widely respected by the members because they fight for justice in the workplace, support free speech and encourage participation by the rank-and-file.
Brenda Stokely, who was removed from her position as President of the 23,000-member DC 1707 on January 14, alleges that her ouster and the firing of Jackson and Mohan were politically motivated. “Raglan George wants to silence us because we have been outspoken critics of the contract he is pushing that would give up 5 years of retroactive pay, while he requested a raise for himself from $70,000 to $150,000, retroactive for 3 years. Meanwhile, the average day care worker makes $24,000 a year and home health aids make between $6 and $10 an hour. Raglan George is pushing for a rush ratification of the day care contract at the Hilton on Tuesday. We are also being targeted because we have been vocal and active in our opposition to the war in Iraq. This is an attempt to silence dissent, squash free speech, and shut out participation by rank and file members.”
They are represented by Daniel E. Clifton, of Lewis, Clifton & Nikolaidis, P.C.