New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO


George H. Nee: Even Tom Brady needed union

By George H. Nee
Posted Sep. 17, 2015 at 2:01 AM

Last Thursday, Tom Brady was able to lead the New England Patriots onto the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers because he is a member of a union: the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). We are proud of the fact that Brady and the other 51 members of the New England Patriots Chapter are affiliated with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.

Amid the pomp and circumstance of the Patriots raising their fourth Super Bowl banner over Gillette Stadium, one could be forgiven for thinking that this was football as usual in New England. However, the past several months have been Brady’s season of discontent, which mercifully came to an end when a federal judge in New York overturned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's four-game "Deflategate" suspension. Thanks to the protections provided by the NFLPA contract, Brady took the field as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, just as he has every season since 2002.

Since Brady is a member of the NFLPA, he plays under the NFL and the union’s collectively bargained contract, which lays out work rules, pay and benefits, health and safety regulations and -- most importantly for Patriots fans -- disciplinary measures and due process.

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Albuquerque City Council Election Labor Volunteer Days, September 16 to October 6

Please join us and help elect labor-endorsed candidates: Israel Chavez for Albuquerque City Council District 4 and Pat Davis for Albuquerque City Council District 6. 

NM Union Members WILL make the difference; please RSVP for the below dates and help GET OUT THE VOTE so working people continue to have a strong voice on the Albuquerque City Council. Don't let ELECTIONS slip away!

Where: AFSCME Hall,1202 Pennsylvania Blvd. NE, Albuquerque
Pay: $12/hr for union members only (family members are welcome to volunteer)
For more info and to RSVP:
Contact Josh Anderson at (505) 350-2200, Carter Bundy at (505) 463-8499, or Leanne Leith at (505) 710-8406
Wednesday, September 16, phone bank 6pm-8pm
Thursday, September 17, phone bank 6pm-8pm
Saturday, September 19, door knock 10am-2pm

Wednesday, September 23, phone bank 6pm-8pm
Thursday, September 24, phone bank 6pm-8pm
Saturday, September 26, door knock 10am-2pm

Wednesday, September 30, phone bank 6pm-8pm
Thursday, October 1, phone bank 6pm-8pm
Saturday, October 3, door knock 10am-2pm
Sunday, October 4, door knock 2pm-5pm
Monday, October 5, phone bank 6pm-8pm
Tuesday, October 6, phones/doors 7am-7pm

Mobile Food Pantry, September 25

What: Labor Mobile Food Pantry
When: Friday, September 25, 11 am to 1 pm (volunteers, please come at 10 am)
Where: parking lot of AFSCME Hall, 1202 Pennsylvania Blvd. NE, Albuquerque
Who: Sponsored by Central New Mexico Labor Council
For more info: Contact Mike Swisher at

Ben and Carmen Lujan Service Awards, October 1

What: The 7th Annual Ben and Carmen Lujan Service Awards
When: Thursday, October 1, 5:30 to 7 pm
Where: Hotel Santa Fe, 1502 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe
Presented by: Democratic Party of Santa Fe County
Honoring: Representative Lucky Varela and Steven and Karen Durkovich
Tickets: $75 suggested donation, $300 sponsor, $500 table sponsor
For more info: Call (505) 467-8514 or email

Join the Democratic Party of Santa Fe County for food, a cash bar, and silent auction.

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 A Moral Monday documentary from Santa Fe, New Mexico by Mariana Nonino

We Gotta Keep the Band Together, Man! [MOVIE!]

New Mexico’s labor movement and progressive allies quietly unified during the state’s 2015 legislative session and pushed back against Governor Martinez’s extreme right-wing agenda, widely perceived as an attack on social, economic, and environmental justice issues.

Republicans wrestled away control of the NM House of Representatives from Democrats after the 2014 election for the first time in over 60 years. To blame was a combination of superior campaign fund raising efforts by Republicans and the Democratic party’s failure to connect with voters on populist issues or generate enough enthusiasm for voter turnout.

The enthusiasm gap was closed early on in the session as Labor and progressive allies closed ranks and mobilized an effective response to the GOP agenda which stood on four main pillars:

1. Attack workers’ rights through proposal of several pieces of right-to-work legislation;

2. Further corporatizing public education by championing scientifically flawed teacher evaluation systems, mandatory third grade flunking bills, and standardized testing on steroids;

3. criminalize entire families and condoning the exploitation of workers by seizing drivers licenses of undocumented immigrants

4. Prioritizing corporate and polluting industry profits over environmental interests

Advocacy groups from every camp (conservation, education, labor, immigrant & social justice) came together and endeavored to remain unified under one tent throughout the entire session.

Alliances were tested when groups differed on strategy or tactics, but disputes were settled and solidarity remained strong throughout thanks to a unified labor movement’s leadership.

Pivotal were Labor’s major field and communications efforts which supported inside political strategy and gave progressive Democratic champions the cover they needed to take difficult and politically charged votes in favor of the people.

At the session’s conclusion, as the dust settled, most every piece of extreme right-wing legislation had been defeated. However, there was no time to celebrate or take down our guard.

The NM Senate, where labor and progressive causes mounted their most staunch defense, is up for reelection in 2016. Only hours after the session ended, the right-wing machine began churning out op/eds and messaged the media about how labor’s progressive Democratic allies had done New Mexico a disservice by killing Governor Martinez’s agenda.

The obvious strategy of Republican Governor Martinez and the GOP will be to unseat the workers’ champions and remove opposition to their anti-everything-but-corporate-profit agenda.

While right-wing talking points and junk science were effectively discredited during the session, the anti-worker propaganda has reemerged stronger in the wake of the session.

It is more important now than ever for labor and progressive allies to remain unified. We must be strategically active and educate voters on our issues to counteract the productive right-wing propaganda machine.


While much of the Internet this week was focused on escaped llamas, figuring out what color a dress is or mourning the loss of SAG-AFTRA member and Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy, we can forget that legislation is still being pushed that would make the lives of working families worse. Whether it is the "right to work" policies pushed by the allies of Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), who likes to compare workers to terrorists, and in other states like New Mexico and West Virginia, or the ongoing negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) using the Fast Track process, we need to stay alert. Read more >>>

Friends of the Feathered

As part of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance's (USA's) Work Boots on the Ground project, New Jersey union members built and painted 52 pheasant and 10 quail transport boxes to support the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which raises and releases some 50,000 pheasants and 11,000 quail annually across the state. Read the full article>>>

Share of Households Earning Middle-Class Income

Income inequality became a hot topic of economic conversation in 2014, and publications like The Atlantic have taken notice. In 17 Things We Learned About the Economy in 2014, the authors explore the growth of low-income jobs, stagnant wages for families and shrinking wages for younger workers, the racial and gender wage gap, taxes and the dwindling middle class.

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It's pretty frustrating seeing all the headlines that claim the economy is alive and kicking. Sure, there is economic growth and a steady increase in jobs, but what kind of jobs are we talking about exactly? Well, they aren't the kind of jobs we think of first when it comes to steady, middle-class jobs. No big surprise here, low-wage service sector jobs like those in the fast-food industry are seeing the biggest gains. Bryce Covert at The New Republic has a nice summary of what America's workers are up against when it comes to wages. Read more >>>

When President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for president, he said: “I am running in this race because of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ Because I believe that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.” Like Dr. King, our president was calling on America to make real the promises of our democracy. That fierce urgency of now is here for thousands of refugee children from Central America. I know many of these kids’ stories because it is my story, too. Read more >>>

The New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO represents more than 110,000 members of 30 unions and community affiliates throughout New Mexico.  The mission of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, is to improve the lives of working families:to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation. Read more >>>

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