search btn

Photo By: 
Dianne Morales

Dianne Morales Fires Four For Organizing Union

The progressive candidate for NYC mayor is accused of discriminating against black and brown staff

Brian Young's picture
May 28, 2021

Just weeks before voters head to the polls to elect the next Mayor of the nation’s largest city, one leading progressive candidate has decided to cut ties with staffers who were attempting to organize on her campaign.

The candidate, Dianne Morales, is being accused of firing four staffers who were elected to leadership positions within the newly formed Moyorales Union. The firings happened just moments before an all-staff meeting where the campaign staff was planning to present their union demands.

The workers allege that they organized because of the toxic environment on the campaign. Only a few days earlier the campaign manager Whitney Hu resigned after presenting concerns to the candidate over how a member of the team treated Black and Brown employees. Morales refused to fire the person in question leading Hu to resign. As she left, Hu encouraged the staff to form the union citing concerns about wages and the lack of health care for employees. The campaigns of many of the leading contenders for Mayor offer health benefits including Maya Wiley, Shaun Donovan, Ray McGuire, Kathryn Garcia, and Eric Adams’ campaigns.

“Many staff have experienced racial aggressions, sexual harassment, exploitation, and manipulation -- grave violations that contradict the very equity our campaign promotes,” the statement from the union reads. “This pattern of marginalization was particularly pronounced in the field, where organizers, particularly Black and brown organizers, were tasked with promoting Dianne Morales but deprived of the resources and support needed to do so.”

Morales is the first Afro Latino candidate to run for Mayor of New York City and if elected would be the first female Mayor of the nation’s largest city. Morales has run as the progressive choice for mayor and has been endorsed by the labor-aligned Working Families Party and liberal community groups like Citizen Action, Make the Road Action, NY Progressive Action Network, and Empire State Indivisible. She also has the support of liberal politicians including former NY Gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, State Senator Jabari Brisport, Gustavo Rivera, Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes, and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. Unions including the UAW and PSC-CUNY endorsed her as a second choice and the Committee of Interns and Residents-SEIU endorsed her as a first choice. This year voters will be able to rank five candidates for mayor which allows groups to make up to five endorsements. She has staked her campaign on a few key policy areas including cutting the NYPD budget and creating a minimum basic income in the city.

Morales has raised $844,095 in private donations and received an additional $3,649,288 in public funding, yet only spent about 5% on staff costs. Morales’ latest campaign filing report showed that she still has $3,790,850 in unspent money.

Workers said that they planned to strike on Friday over the firings. NYC voters head to the polls to vote in the Democratic primary on June 22nd. The winner of the primary will likely become the next mayor as the city has a 7-1 Democratic voter registration advantage.

Sign up for our e-Newsletter!