May 29, 2013

Labor's heroics recognized in Superstorm Sandy photos

Author: Frank Maurizio
Source:  NYSUT Communications
labor photos

Natural disasters and other tragedies tend to bring out the best in Americans. We saw it most recently in the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornadoes. Before that, it was the unspeakable violence in Newtown, Ct., that brought people together. Terror in Boston galvanized the nation. Hurricanes Lee and Irene in upstate New York upended the lives of many, including hundreds of NYSUT members, and then spurred a small army of citizen volunteers. 

And, on Oct. 29, Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on parts of New York City as well as New Jersey, with uncontrollable flooding taking down power lines, submerging streets, tunnels and transit systems, and destroying homes. The world's most dynamic city was at a standstill; its residents - again, including many NYSUT members - numbed by the devastation. 

But not for long. Thousands and thousands of public-sector workers, including teachers, health care professionals, transit workers, mechanics, electrical workers, and others, joined by scores of volunteers, worked tirelessly to put New York back together. 

Next week, on June 6, the heroic efforts of those working men and women will be recognized in an exhibit of photos taken by workers during and after the storm. Called “Sandy Stories: Organized Labor Rebuilds New York,” this exhibit is a tribute to workers' commitment and labor. 

The exhibit, which runs through June 30, is at the Graduate Center for Worker Education, 25 Broadway, in New York City. 

NYSUT and its largest affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers, are among the exhibit's participants. Other unions and labor organizations that have contributed include TWU Local 100, the UAW, RWDSU, IBT, PEF, the LI Federation of Labor, the UWUA Local 1-2, member unions of the Hudson Valley ALF, IBEW, CSEA, DC37, IWDC, UFCW Local 1500 and the CBTU. 

This exhibit is sponsored by the Workforce Development Institute and the New York State AFL-CIO. For more information contact Sue Hains of the WDI at

The opening will be in conjunction with the Labor and Working-Class History Association's annual conference, being held from June 6 - 8. Registration information can be found at

LAWCHA is underwriting 50 conference scholarships for trade unionists to enable conference attendance. Interested members should contact Hains at or at (518) 272-3500 X105. 

A panel discussion entitled "Sandy Stories: A Worker's Perspective" will take place in conjunction with the exhibit's opening, from 10:15 a.m. to noon on June 6. The panel will be moderated by Ed Murphy, who heads up the WDI, and will include labor leaders sharing the perspectives of the workers who brought New York back.

About the Exhibit

The New York State AFL-CIO and the Workforce Development Institute present

SANDY STORIES: Organized Labor Rebuilds New York

An exhibit of photos taken by workers during and after Hurricane Sandy

Opening June 6, 2013
at the Graduate Center for Worker Education
25 Broadway, New York City
7th Floor

Panel Discussion
Hurricane Sandy Stories: A Worker’s Perspective
June 6, 2013, 10:15 - 12:00
Room 7-15

June 6, 2013, 5:30 - 7:00
Auditorium on 7th Floor
In conjunction with the Labor & Working Class History Association’s (LAWCHA)
National Conference June 6-8

For more information contact Ed Murphy at 518-463-2141 or

Sandy Stories - June 6 to June 30, 2013