The 58 attorneys, social workers, secretaries, investigators, clericals, receptionist and librarians who work at the Westchester County (New York) Legal Aid Society face difficult issues such as substandard health insurance and pensions, arbitrary treatment, and management’s refusal to include the staff in decisions affecting their work.
That’s why they’re now hard at work on a first contract after voting earlier this year to join UAW Local 2325.
“We always knew that if we remained unified, focused and positive we would win our union, and I was so proud that my fellow workers proved us right,” said Christy Swatzell, unit chair and a key organizer in the six-month campaign.
The unit is positive and energetic, and determined to use the resources and power of the membership to achieve its goals, said Local 2325 President Debbie Wright.
“This new wall-to-wall unit, in an important legal aid office serving the poor, is an historic step forward for our local, for the UAW, and particularly for the dedicated members and their clients,” Wright said. “We are confident it will lead to better working conditions and benefits for the members and better service for their clients.”
The members’ passion was expressed by Anna Maria DiBerardino Capuano: “In my 38 years of service, I always wanted to be a union member like other members of my family whose lives were so benefited by their unions,” Capuano said. “Now, as a UAW member, my dream has been fulfilled.”
— George Albro
UAW Local 2325
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