Thursday, June 6, 2024

Vote Down the Goons - MulgrewCare Update: Unity Gang Called Security on Retiree Advocates Handing Out Leaflets at the Hilton

If you are a UFT retiree and haven't voted yet your last chance to be counted for sure is to mail in your ballot today or tomorrow or it might not reach AAA by the Friday June 14th 8AM deadline. It took a week or more to receive the ballot and some have been returned because of faulty postal codes on the AAA envelopes (AAA has lost its step).

I'm a registered pessimist so I'm not as sure and will post my pre-election analysis late next week.
Well, anyway, here is a report I started last week.

Saturday June 1

With the retiree chapter election in full swing (ballots to be counted June 14), a group from Retiree Advocate showed up to hand out our healthcare leaflet the annual UFT retiree breakfast/luncheon at the Hilton on W. 54St and 6Th Ave, a location much used by the UFT. In fact they recently used it to give a two thousand dollar stipend to 750 Unity loyalists for the NYSUT convention a few weeks ago. So the UFT is a regular customer of the hotel.
We were there to remind attendees about the election.
While Unity avoids talking about healthcare issues, Retiree Advocate, allied with other NYC union retirees, has kept the issue front and center. So of course in the Trump-like world of Unity, we are accused of being a one-issue group (like the Dems they cater too are not a one issue group - Trump). Let's be honest here. If not for MulgrewCare RA would be in the same automatic losing position as it's been in for 30 years. So yes, when the major issue is your health feel free to call us a one issue group because we will focus on health if we win --  but will also do all the other things union conscious groups do.

So we were at the top of the escalator greeting people and chatting to them about the election and healthcare and then directed them to the registration desk down the hall. At some point we could see there was some official perturbed at our presence. So they sent over someone to "direct" people as to where to register - which was what we were doing anyway. 

Then the UFTer starts complaining we were blocking people when they got off the elevator. She claimed is was a safety issue as I watched her try to insert herself between our reps and the escalator to get at people first and demanded we move back with the intention of diverting people in the opposite direction so we don't get to talk to them. When we refused she ran back to the registration desk and they called security.

Eventually 3 levels of security came up and I was ready to be arrested as an electioneering tactic -- play the Trump victim game and get votes - it may be working for him.

There were three level of security - the guy at the bottom stood near me as I explained to a 62 year old recent retiree what was happening with healthcare and how things would change when he turned 65 and the difference between MulgrewCare and our current system. The guard, a union member, was very interested and we chatted. As the crowd of arrivals thinned we hung out and bonded with all the security guys who were so nice and we knew they were on our side.

I've recently had some bad health news and over the past 2 weeks have seen numerous doctors and had numerous tests and scans without a thought of insurance cares. At one of them a guy working there saw my insurance and said "you have the best insurance." I told him what the union was trying to do and he couldn't believe it. Neither can I. I try to imagine if Mulgrew and Murphy had won the day, where would I be? 
Oh, and today is D Day and my 53rd anniversary -- the invasion of Norman.

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