Murphy and Smith outside a Staten Island post office
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — July 10, 2012. Candidate for Congress Mark Murphy was endorsed by the New York Metro Area Postal Union (APWU) earlier today — Murphy thanked the Union and vowed to defend “all unions” and to continue to fight for the middle class.

 
Democrat Mark Murphy, a native Staten Islander, is gaining momentum in his challenge against embattled congressman Michael Grimm (R, NY-11). In an ironic twist, Grimm, a former FBI agent, is the subject of an ongoing FBI corruption probe. A Tea Party darling, Grimm is being investigated by the Bureau because of allegations that the congressman accepted illegal campaign donations during his 2010 run.

 
What originally appeared to be an uphill battle for Murphy is evolving into a serious challenge to the scandal-plagued Grimm.

 
The most recent boost to Murphy’s campaign came from the New York Metro Area Postal Union – the APWU local endorsed Murphy earlier today. Jonathan Smith, the union’s president, came to Staten Island this morning to stand with Murphy on the steps of the St. George post office where the labor leader and the candidate held a joint press conference.

 
Prior to the official announcement, Murphy and Smith chatted with APWU members, including a worker from the St. George Station who used her break to get a photo of Murphy and to thank him for supporting the union.

 
Some union locals on Staten Island, including the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), have endorsed Grimm, who previously pledged to save their jobs. Shortly after vowing to help save the Postal Service, Grimm donned a letter carrier’s uniform and delivered some mail. But on May 10 Grimm voted for “a 5 percent cut in postal and federal workers’ pay,” according to the American Postal Workers Union.

 


The APWU’s Chuck Zlatkin introduces candidate Murphy
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
Murphy was scathing in his criticism of his opponent’s waffling — and unwavering in his support of the Postal Service and its unions.

 
“We cannot allow them to be turned into a private organization and that is exactly what our Congress is looking to do right now. We need to protect the middle class. We need to protect the members of this union and all unions,” Murphy said.

 
Referring to Grimm’s photo op in postal garb, Murphy said, “I’m not just going to masquerade on Staten Island, literally in a costume, and tell the postal workers that I support them and go to Washington and stand with a caucus that is opposed to them. I stand with them here, I stand with them there, and I will stand with them everywhere and every single day.”

 


NY Metro Area Postal Union president Jonathan Smith
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

Jonathan Smith, commenting on Murphy’s unequivocal support for the union, said that “The people of Staten Island and Brooklyn are no different than the people in the rest of America, they need someone in Congress who represents their best interests. They need someone in Congress who is committed to middle class values, someone who will not only talk the talk but walk the walk.”

 


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(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 

NEW YORK — July 5, 2012. Locked out ConEd workers, members of Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2, have been holding pickets on Irving Plaza all week and NLN photographer Bud Korotzer was there.

 


(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 


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(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)


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NEW YORK — July 1, 2012. Timothy Sheard is a health care professional turned novelist — creator of the Lenny Moss murder mysteries — socialist, National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981) stalwart, and owner of a 1969 Avanti II. In this clip Tim sits down with NLN’s Thomas Altfather Good for a chat about his writing, his beloved Union, his politics, and his classic but cantankerous car.