The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYC PBA) today sent a letter to labor and political leaders asking them to boycott Mayor de Blasio’s political events due to the deeply troubling anti-labor practices of the Mayor and his administration. The letter, from NYC PBA President Patrick J. Lynch on behalf of the nearly 50,000 active and retired union members, was sent to dozens of local and national union presidents, New York City and State elected officials, and political party leaders. The PBA is asking for solidarity after the Mayor and his administration officials have demonstrated routine hypocrisy and bad-faith negotiation practices as the PBA seeks a fair contract for New York City police officers.
NYC PBA President Patrick J, Lynch said:
"Mayor de Blasio continues to prop up his political aspirations with the phony claim that he is a 'friend of working people,' while his treatment of his own workforce shows he is anything but that. Union members and labor-backed political leaders should know the truth about Mayor de Blasio's labor record before they decide to step onto a stage with him."
Excerpts from the full letter below:
“Mayor de Blasio was twice elected by professing he will always be a friend of labor – someone who looks out for working New Yorkers. But when it comes to the treatment of his own work force, he has shown more in common with the ‘greedy corporations’ he rails against than with the workers who protect our city and keep it running. In my nearly 20 years as union president, spanning three very different mayoral administrations, no period has been worse for the economic future of New York City municipal employees and their families than the past four-and-a-half years under Mayor de Blasio.”
“We are therefore asking that leaders such as yourself show their solidarity by refusing to support Mayor de Blasio’s political activities or amplify his false claim that he is an ally of working people. He has not earned and does not deserve our support.”
“Nowhere is Mayor de Blasio’s labor hypocrisy more evident than in his approach at the bargaining table. The seven contract years negotiated so far by the de Blasio administration have brought city workers baseline raises of only 10%, which did not even keep pace with the 12% rate of inflation for the same period. To make matters worse, those increases have been further diminished by dramatic health care givebacks. In comparison, even Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg offered a minimum of 13% and 17.15% raises, respectively, for the first seven years of contracts they negotiated.”
“In the current bargaining round, Mayor de Blasio has continued to follow the corporate union-busting playbook, by once again offering below-inflation raises and seeking to slash health and pension benefits, cuts that would effectively wipe out the paltry wage increases our members would receive.”
“The mayor’s negotiators have sought to strong-arm city employee unions into accepting contract terms that would leave their members economically worse off than before, using a variety of bad faith tactics that make a mockery of the collective bargaining process. In one instance, the de Blasio administration attempted to illegally withhold contractually-mandated benefits in order to force a union to accept lower raises in its next contract.”
“These grossly anti-worker practices stand in stark contrast to the Mayor’s labor friendly rhetoric. Speaking before the striking members of IBEW Local 3 employed by Charter Communications last year, he praised the strikers for ‘fighting for something we all should care about — the right to have a good pension, the right to have decent pay and decent benefits’ and promised that Charter would ‘suffer the consequences’ of their refusal to negotiate. At a more recent contract rally with members of SEIU 32 BJ, Mayor de Blasio said: ‘This is a moment in history when it comes down to one simple thing — are you on the side of working people or not?’”
“When it comes to the one area of labor relations over which he has complete control — the employees of the City of New York — he has shown again and again that he is not on the side of the working people.”
“Until Mayor de Blasio changes his approach and treats New York City police officers and other city employees fairly, we will be speaking out, or following him wherever he goes, to highlight how destructive his anti-labor approach is for New York City — not only for our members, who work night and day to keep our streets safe, but for every union member who makes this city, state, and country great. We hope you will consider voicing your support for our effort. At a minimum, we ask that you decline any invitation to stand with Mayor de Blasio at political events and deny him the opportunity to tout his credentials as a “’friend of labor’ until he lives up to that title in his dealings with his own employees.”