Powerful NYC workers union taps former de Blasio top staffer in runup to mayoral election

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Michael Gartland, New York Daily News
·2 min read
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The city’s largest municipal workers union, DC37, has hired a City Hall press shop veteran as it gears up for this year’s mayoral contest — a race whose outcome will have huge implications for labor in the coming years.

Mayor de Blasio’s former press secretary Freddi Goldstein will join the union as it mulls whom to put its considerable muscle behind in the crowded race.

Goldstein served in de Blasio’s press office for four years, rising to the rank of press secretary in 2019, a job she left in July. Starting Monday, she will serve as DC37 1/4 u2032s communication’s director.

“New York City has a long road ahead and there’s no question the path to recovery must be worker-led,” she said. “I can’t wait to get to work.”

The union represents 150,000 city workers, a sizable voting bloc that has the ability to mount a significant get-out-the-vote effort on behalf of whichever mayoral candidate it chooses. In the 2013 mayor’s race, it backed former city Comptroller John Liu’s City Hall run.

Now, the union’s future health, like that of many other unions, is uncertain due to the prolonged financial strain caused by the COVID pandemic.

In October, DC37 agreed to a deal with de Blasio to temporarily forgo receiving payments into its benefit fund to avoid municipal layoffs. In exchange, the city agreed to hold off laying off any union members through the end of June 2021.

The compromise is one of several de Blasio brokered with municipal labor unions to fill budget gaps caused by revenue shortfalls brought on by the pandemic. The deal with DC37 saved the city $164 million.

“Whoever occupies City Hall next must put the needs of workers first, and that’s what we’ll be focused on this year,” said DC37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “I’m thrilled Freddi is joining the team to help push forward our members’ agenda.”