AME Dysfunctional Election Process – Credit Check Discrimination


Reluctant as we have always been to air dirty union laundry, the turmoil at Suffolk County’s AME is no secret. Newsday recently had an extensive article exploring the positions taken by several of the factions in an upcoming union election. We’ll speak with embattled Union President Dan Farrell to give him an opportunity to respond to the allegations swirling about. After all, the $60,000 question asked by many within labor circles of late has been “what the heck is going on with AME?” We’ll get the incumbent’s perspective, and it’s not pretty.

Discrimination in the workplace is a lose-lose proposition. Potentially great workers lose good job opportunities for which they may be more than capable. Employers lose potential talent that could possibly take them to the next level. More lamentable is how creative discrimination is becoming. Corporations increasingly use credit ratings to guide their hiring decisions, a strategy that tends to disparately impact Black and Latino workers. David Mertz, assistant to the president of RWDSU and NYC area director; Andy Morrison, campaigns coordinator for The New Economy Project, and Ramon Lebron III, a Bronx Community college student and a victim of credit discrimination, explain how credit checks are negatively impacting the community and what they plan to do to remedy this problem.

AME Tumultuous Union Election Process

Dan Farrell Suffolk County AMEUnion elections are a part of the democratic process. They give workers a voice in their own governance, and ensure that officials of unions diligently represent their members. Unfortunately, elections are sometimes sidetracked by petty bickering which can lead to a union’s becoming completely dysfunctional throughout the election process. It’s no secret that the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees Association is in turmoil. Dan Farrell, the embattled current President of AME give us his side of the story in response to recent Newsday and South Shore Press articles about conflicts taking place within the union. Dysfunction and lack of civility has essentially paralyzed Suffolk AME.  A dissident Executive Board has taken aim at Farrell; Farrell blames them for the havoc – they point the finger back. Farrell avers the battle for control of the Union has impacted everything from Executive Board meetings to providing membership services and communications. Pay attention unionists: this part of the program will have some textbook lessons on how not to run a union election.

Dan Farrell of @SuffolkCtyAME gives his perspective on tumultuous Union elections Tweet this

Eliminating Job Discrimination based on Credit Checks

Rally to stop credit checksThere are a multitude of criteria used by companies to determine whether a potential hire will become good employee. Lately, corporations have been using credit checks to determine a prospect’s occupational compatibility.  We are not talking about excluding workers with bad credit- ratings, we’re concerned about exclusion based on no credit- rating.  The Catch 22; “How can I get a credit rating if I can’t get a job, how can I get a job if I don’t have a good credit rating?” Whether inadvertent, or by design, this strategy disproportionately discriminates against Blacks and Latinos who may never have had the opportunity to build a credit rating.   Andy Morrison, the campaigns coordinator for the New Economy Project alerted us to the debilitating effect that credit checks have on the workforce and along with David Mertz, the assistant to the president of RWDSU and NYC director, explains why this policy is discriminatory and how it negatively impacts workers. Ramon Lebron III, a student at Bronx Community College, has personally been prevented from obtaining an entry level job simply because he has never had a credit card. Credit discrimination is rather perplexing.  Our panelists will show just how bad it is and why it needs to be stopped. They are promoting legislation which will do exactly that!

Members of @endcreditchecks coalition talk about inherent discrimination in #CreditChecks Tweet this

Related Programs

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2) TWU local 100 Update – MFY Legal on Strike: John Samuelson updates us about TWU local 100 organizing and the challenges of working with a union that is so diverse

3) Unifying A Diverse Labor Movement with NYC Central Labor Council and Teamsters: Bringing together labor voices from diverse walks of life for a common goal

Labor-Lines can be heard Saturday at 1:00 pm in NYC on AM-970 “The Answer” — 6:30 pm in Nassau County on AM -1240 WGBB — Sunday at 7:00 am in Suffolk County on WJVC 96.1 FM “My Country” – and at 8:00 am in Suffolk on WRCN “LI News Radio” 103.9 FM

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