April 17, 2014 | Events
April 16, 2014: A warm and energetic atmosphere was cast over a chilly April spring evening at last night’s Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) meeting hosted at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. Approximately 400 people showed up to celebrate a union contract that gives laborers who work at carwashes in the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan fair wages, fair working conditions and paid overtime. The event was filled with hot food, music and colorful balloons adding to the already bright atmosphere.
The President of Guttman Community College, Scott E. Evenbeck, gave a warm welcome to all of the union members and supporters saying how happy he was to host such an important event and inviting the children of the union members to attend Guttman Community College. Following Evenbeck’s warm welcome was Union President Stuart Appelbaum.
RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum gave opening remarks that reinforced the progress that was made in the workers contract. President Appelbaum stated to the workers that they would no longer be taken advantage of by store managers, and the owners of the car washes are now held accountable for fair wages and fair working conditions. Supporting the labors contract were high ranking elected official such as Scott Stringer, New York City Comptroller, Tish James, New York City’s Public Advocate, Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City’s City Council Speaker, and Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General.
Closing out the evening was the Mayor of the City of New York, Bill de Blasio. At a towering 6’ 5” he greeted the President of Guttman Community College Scott E. Evenbeck with a handshake, and the two posed for a few photos. Mayor de Blasio also warmly embraced long-time friend and colleague Guttman Vice President for Administration and Finance Larian Angelo. Mayor de Blasio was then brought to the podium where he gave an inspiring and heartfelt speech in Spanish and English to the union members who responded with cheers, clapping and smiles. As Mayor de Blasio exited, he stopped to take photos with the union members and their families, showing his enthusiasm and support for the achievements hailed.
View more photos of the event.