The labor community is excited to get to work on advancing the labor movement and New York is at the forefront of member communication, developing a legislative agenda and more.
New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento talked about his long career with the New York State AFL-CIO, how they communicate with their affiliated members, the upcoming legislative agenda and how to prevent COVID-19 related layoffs.
Cilento said he began working at the state AFL-CIO 29 years ago as the communications director. He then moved on to his chief of staff role and now into president.
Union Strong app
Cilento said communication has evolved since he began his career. They first had a public access television show, then they developed a weekly radio program and now a mobile application.
He said the app has been successful, garnering over 100,000 downloads during its initial week. It contains information about political actions, pickets, rallies, political information and other educational material.
Cilento said the New York State AFL-CIO has a great relationship with the state government. They work together on crafting labor-friendly legislation and other initiatives.
He said this year the state government needs to do more to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. While things are put in place to protect public-sector workers, private-sector employees are struggling.
The need for future protocols is great. He said the state and country cannot have another situation like this where both are unprepared for a pandemic.
Cilento said the deficit has become too large to cut out of and that jobs need to remain in place in order to keep money flowing to the people.
He also said new industries may be explored. For example, Cilento said there is discussion of legalizing marijuana and gaming. Both industries will create large sources of tax revenue and help fund any paycheck protection programs.