Nineteen New York labor leaders have sent a letter to all local unions and central labor councils in the state urging them to endorse of HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).
Writing under the banner of “New York Labor for Single Payer Healthcare—HR 676” the signers of the letter represent a variety of unions and come from every geographic region in the state. Eight of the signers are presidents of Central Labor Councils or Area Labor Federations.
The letter calls attention to the deep crisis in the nation’s health care system saying “All of us are at risk—all but the private insurance industry.” It goes on to point out that 2.8 million New Yorkers, including 500,000 children, had no health coverage whatsoever in 2006, and concludes “We can help our fellow union members by taking health care off the bargaining table. By standing up for all working people, and leading the effort to truly provide healthcare for all, we will affirm labor’s rightful role as a leader in the fight for social justice.”
The letter requests that copies of any resolution passed, be sent to John Sweeney, the NYS AFL-CIO, congressional representatives and New York’s two U.S. senators.
The letter was signed by Mike Keenan, President, Troy Area Labor Council; Mary Landolfi, President, Local 802 AFM; Paul Sumner, President, Lodge 1145 IAM; Tom Grace, Chair, Political Action Committee, Buffalo AFL-CIO; Jim Bertolone, President, Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation; Sandy Pope, President, Local 805 IBT; Barbara Bowen, President, Local 2334 AFT; Tina Gerardi, Chief Executive Officer, NYS Nurses Association; Jeff Vogel, Delegate Assembly, 1199/SEIU; Ken Brynien, President, Local 4053 NYS Public Employees Federation AFT/SEIU; Martha Livingston, Delegate Assembly, Local 2190 AFT; Joe Fox, President, Capital District Area Labor Federation; Kathy Taylor, President Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation; Steve Green, President, Albany County Central Federation of Labor; Peggy Costello, President, Chemung/Schuyler Labor Assembly; Cliff Brosnan, President, Greater Glens Falls Central Labor Council; Mary Twitchell, President, Tri-County Central Labor Council; Terry Tyoe, Division leader PEF Division 169; and Phillip H. Smith, President, Local 2190 AFT United University Professions.
Copies of the letter and accompanying sample resolution can be obtain on request (please indicate PDF or word document).