The union is only as strong as we are. If we don’t get up and fight things stay the same with the 99% and the 1%.

~ Kim Squirrel, 32BJ Member, Western Pennsylvania

Maurice Thomas

District: Division:

Maurice has been a union member for 30 years, 23 of which he’s spent working at the Department of Justice in Washington DC. He was leading a lunchtime Bible study group at his worksite when his coworkers asked him to represent them in the union.

 I’ve done all of it– political work, organizing. Everything we need Member Political Organizers (MPOs) or stewards to do, I’ve done it. I was in the Tidewater region of Virginia in the recent election. Political action is important to all of us. It’s very important to get officials elected who care about healthcare, who care about education for our family members, who about our wages and Social Security.

So how did Maurice sign up so many contributors?

 At first, my coworkers were not too sure about ADF. What helped them to understand the importance of it was when we related it to our families. When I think about the American Dream Fund I think about the American dream. All of us want good jobs, to own a home and have security on the job. The way that ADF works is that we, as members, pay a small amount to contribute to the American Dream Fund that supports elected officials that support our issues. And it works. For example, in our building in Washington DC when a new contractor comes in they have to pick up the workers in our building because of the Displaced Workers Act that was passed into law and protects contractor jobs. After sharing that victory, my coworkers began to understand that this is very important to us.

Maurice emphasizes the importance of all members to be involved in the union.

 I think every shop steward should be training someone else and that person can be training someone else too. At my shop we make sure every member really knows the contract, really knows how the worker-supervisor relationship works. We go over the contract. We talk about ADF. We talk about politics. We have one of the strongest shops in the federal buildings in DC and I think the reason why we’re so strong is because of how engaged we are in the union. Recently we did a solidarity action at the IRS building that was across the street from us. Our union chairperson called me and said, ‘We need your members to come out.’ We came out and they were surprised to see all of us. We know the importance of unity.


Marla Blunt: A Pittsburgh That Works for Working People
Muniru Owe: A Call to Action
Maria Trejo: Optimism Is a Necessity of Life
Veteran and Security Officer Jeremy Birchwood: ‘Every person deserves a living wage’
Dominise Wright: A Leader for Airport Workers
Teresa Mancheno: Justice for Janitors
Sarina Santos: Better Conditions for Philly Airport Workers!
Baltimore Members on Poverty, Police and Community
Aliyya Lee: Why I Fight!
Christopher Savoy: Fed Up But Not Giving Up
Richard Adams: I Refuse to Be the Norm
New Brigade Hits the Ground Running
Antonio Barnes: Restoring Faith in the Political Process
Marcus Garland: High Stakes in PA
Beatriz Hernandez: Politics Matter
Jose Luz Sanchez: Worker Justice and Immigrant Justice
Assade Vedrine: Fighting to Keep His Family Together
Emmanuel Sebit: A Hell of a Job
Michael Greene: Now We Have A Voice
Shirley Newell: Fighting for What We Deserve
Robb Archigian: A Fair Contract For All Of Us
Cesar Coronel: Your Fight Is My Fight
Scott Cohen: I’ll Be There on April 2nd!
Antonio Toro: It’s All the Same City
Raymond Vazquez: Making Ends Meet
Derbert King: Keep the Focus on What’s Important
Eugene Amankwah: Making New York Home
Larry Teachey
Leroy Abramson
John Kenney
Gregg Bandy
Kelly Mahaffey
Heleodora Caraballo
Alejandro Rojas
Brenda Mitchell-Dolor: Finding Power You Didn’t Realize You Have
Simon Torres: A Great Guide in a City of Immigrants
Lance Mann: Research Brigader
Ciro Gutierrez
Maria Ramirez
Leslie Williams
Fred Roldan
Anthony Faulk
Jay Etheridge
Anna Dziubek
Maurice Thomas
Delores Perry
Victoria Carbajal
Willie Lucas
Yohanny Peguero
Yeny Nuñez
Kim Squirrel
Ernie Bennett
Justin Foglia