District Council 1707, AFL-CIO

Local 205 Shop Steward Meeting Disrupted By Racist, Misogynist and Anti-Immigrant Rants from Non-Member

                                        How it Started

The meeting went well until there was a disagreement on the floor regarding how best to file grievances. The member became upset at something that was said. This led to the woman’s husband joining the discussion. Since he was not a member, he had no right to participate in the meeting. He was asked to leave after his comments disrupted the meeting and he would not stop.

He responded with racist, anti-immigrant remarks directed at Executive Director Mitchell. He repeatedly called her the “N” word. “I have never witnessed or been the victim of such racist and anti-immigrant behavior in all my years in the union,” said Mitchell. “This man was referencing Donald Trump and saying that “all immigrants (and he meant immigrants of color) should be thrown out of the country.” His fury was also directed at Local 205 President Ramos.

Members were shocked by the man’s behavior. As he left, he shouted that he would kill Mitchell and if he could not do it, he would get someone else to do it. He was removed by security.

                             NYC Police Responded Quickly

The police were called and came to the building but the disrupter and his wife had quickly departed.

“We filed a police report and this guy should never be allowed in the building.” Mitchell said.

The union has had a policy of allowing spouses and children of members to attend union meetings with the unwritten policy that guests should not interfere with union business.

“Rank and file union meetings are conducted in the evening after work. Single parents often do not have someone to watch over their children and we believe it is a positive influence for children to see their parents’ active in union activities. Spouses sometimes come to walk their wives or loved ones home. We see the merit and we attempt to provide a welcoming atmosphere for everyone,” she said.

Mitchell also said that at this time she could not foresee a change in the policy but that the union would not tolerate disruption of union meetings by non-members or members at its headquarters.

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